The Electoral Commission (EC) has debunked claims it is working with the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to sneak an unregistered voter onto the Assin North register ahead of the by-election in the Constituency.
This is in response to allegations by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the EC was conniving with the NPP to include one Charles Opoku, who is not a registered voter in the constituency, on the voter register.
Mr Sammy Gyamfi, the National Communication Officer of the NDC, claimed that the EC only relied on the 1992 Constitution to make a case that a person did not need to be a registered voter in the constituency he/she intended to stand for election.
He said the EC should have also relied on CI 127 and in particular, the Nomination Form contained in CI 127 before concluding that a person did not need to be a registered voter in the same constituency he/she intended to contest.
Again, the Communications Officer claimed that the phrase “of the same Constituency”, on the Parliamentary Nomination Form, implied that a candidate for parliamentary election must be a registered voter in the same constituency he/she intended to contest and that the phrase “of the same Constituency” on the Nomination Form should override the requirement in the Constitution.
The EC, in a statement signed and issued by its Public Affairs Department on Tuesday, described Mr Gyamfi’s argument as flawed.
The statement said the Nomination Form, which stated that: “We the undersigned registered voters in ………………… Constituency do hereby nominate…………. of the same Constituency to stand for election as a Member of Parliament, and we hereby certify that to the best of our knowledge, he/she is qualified to be elected as such,” required only those nominating a candidate for a parliamentary election in a constituency to be registered voters in the same constituency, and not the candidate who was being nominated to the contest.
“The candidate is only required to hail from or reside in the constituency to qualify to contest in that Constituency.
” If one should interpret what is stated on the Parliamentary Nomination Form to imply that the candidate must also be a registered voter in the same constituency, that would be absurd, unreasonable, illogical, and unconstitutional…,” it added.
The Commission said it remained committed to conducting transparent, peaceful and credible elections and described the allegation as “baseless and unfounded”.