Seven File For Wulensi By-Election Despite Legal Threat

Seven candidates, including one independent, had filed their nominations to contest the Wulensi by-election as of the close of nominations on Wednesday, in spite of the suit by three political parties against the Electoral Commission (EC) on its decision to organise the by-election using the old voters register. They are Mr Imoro Sualey for the New Vision Party; Mr Damba Issah for the Progressive People’s Party (PPP); Mr Nlenkiba Abraham for the Independent People’s Party (IPP); Mr Haruna Musah for the Convention People’s Party (CPP); Mr Thomas Donkor Ogajah for the New Patriotic Party( NPP); Laliri George Maban for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and Mohammed Adam, the independent candidate. On Wednesday, the NDC, the NPP and the CPP joined forces to sue the EC over the Wulensi by-election but, according to the Deputy Northern Regional Director of the EC, Mr Godwin Okly, the commission was only performing its constitutional mandate and that the law would decide. Meanwhile, there are mixed reactions from the NDC, the NPP and the CPP in the Northern Region regarding the decision of the EC to go ahead with the Wulensi by-election on July 31, 2012. The Northern Regional Secretary of the NPP, Mr Clifford Braimah, speaking in an interview, said the EC should explain how a candidate of the NPP filed his nomination to contest the by-election when the party was not in agreement with the EC’s decision. He said the EC’s action was a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise some sections of the electorate by refusing to use the new voters register. “We did not introduce any candidate to the EC and so how come we have a candidate? The EC is rushing things and I do not know why,” he stated. The Northern Regional Treasurer of the NDC, Mr Rashid Tanko, for his part, noted that all the parties had fielded candidates for the by-election, although some parties were not in agreement with the EC’s decision to go ahead with the by-election. According to Mr Tanko, the timing of the by-election was wrong, since the candidate who would get the nod would serve his constituents for only three weeks in Parliament. He intimated that if the parties contesting the issue in court lost the case, the NDC would have no choice but take part in the election, since it was the outcome of the case and the law that would determine the next course of action. The Northern Regional Treasurer of the CPP, Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama, was of the view that if the ruling of the court went in favour of the EC, then the CPP would go by that decision. He, however, indicated that the CPP would rather the EC used the new voters register, since it was more transparent than the old register. “For now, we have a credible candidate and we will not pull out and allow other parties to win the seat. Let us wait for the court to decide on the matter,” he said.