The Electoral Commission (EC) has pulled out of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) polls now the subject of a court action.
The action was informed by the decision of one of the leading contenders in the opposition party’s internal polls to choose a flagbearer, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, to stop the process scheduled for Saturday.
The former Finance Minister is seeking an interlocutory injunction at a high court, an application which automatically puts a hold on the electoral process.
The EC decision was announced yesterday when a high-powered delegation of the NDC led by their General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia visited the electoral management body’s Chairperson Ms. Jean Mensa at her office in Accra.
The visit was in response to an invitation from the EC Chairperson to the NDC “to inform you about our decision on a matter that lies before us.”
Even before making the bombshell announcement, the EC Chairperson recalled the several meetings held between the Commission and the Elections Committee of the NDC to discuss the modalities for the internal electoral process, the outcome of which she added was a set of guidelines agreed upon with the Committee.
Key among the guidelines, she said, was the requirement that the register to govern the election would be made available to the contesting parties by the Elections Committee of the NDC at least seven days before the conduct of the elections.
Earlier in the week, she recalled receiving a letter from the Kwabena Duffuor Campaign Team alleging various errors and anomalies with the register.
Following the foregone, she said it was decided that the Commission meet with the Elections Committee as well as representatives of the presidential aspirants to deliberate on the matter towards agreeing on the way forward.
That meeting, she went on, “was to have been held today (yesterday)”. Continuing, she said “yesterday we were served with an Application for interlocutory Injunction seeking to restrain the Commission from supervising the conduct of the Presidential and Parliamentary Primaries due to the alleged anomalies with the register.”
To avoid being cited for contempt, the EC Chairperson told her guests that “the Commission has taken the decision not to supervise the conduct of the presidential and parliamentary elections until after the determination of the case by the court. We thought we should bring this to your attention”. She added “therefore the meeting called to discuss the concerns of the Kwabena Duffuor Campaign Team has been cancelled.”
It has been a long time since the EC and the opposition NDC’s top brass sat down with the former for a discussion on electoral matters. Seizing this rare occasion, the EC Chairperson could not have missed a chance to tell her guests that “as we are all aware, we haven’t had the participation of the NDC at our IPAC meeting since 2021. We hope that your honouring our invitation to this meeting, will pave the way for the NDC to return to IPAC and be part of the important discussions that take place there.”
…EC’s Letter To NDC
“…we write to formally inform you that having been formally served an Application for Interlocutory Injunction seeking to restrain the Electoral Commission from supervising the conduct of the Presidential and Parliamentary Primaries of the National Democratic Congress, the Commission will not be able to supervise the conduct of the said Elections slated for Saturday, May 13, 2023 until after the determination of the matter,” parts of the letter read.