Court places injunction on NDC presidential primaries
A High Court in Accra has placed an injunction on the opposition National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) upcoming presidential primaries scheduled for January 26, 2018. James Kabu Nartey and Abdallah Issah, took the legal action against the party. Citi News gathers that the two went to court to challenge the rules and guidelines set for the presidential primaries. They also made arguments against the party’s filing and nomination fees which generated a huge controversy, indicating in their suit that the guidelines violate the country’s 1992 constitution.
ourt in its order said the NDC “their committees, agents, private servants or authorized bodies and all persons acting through them be restrained from proceeding with the NDC 2019 Presidential Elections in the manner outlined in the guidelines as amended or at all until the final determination of the suit.”The court said the injunction is for the next 10 days, after which the plaintiffs could reapply for a notice to halt the election process. It is unclear what the interest of the plaintiffs are, especially when seven of the aspirants have now filed their nominations and are awaiting vetting and subsequently the election on January 26, 2019. Some flagbearer hopefuls had been protesting the decision of the National Executive Committee’s to charge each aspirant GHS 420,000 as filing and nomination fees. They petitioned the party’s Council of Elders on the matter. In the petition, the nine aspirants proposed that fees for collection of forms be reduced to GHS 5,000 whiles the filing fees should be pegged ar GHS100,000. They also wanted an endorsement period of 6 weeks and the polling date shifted back to the first week of March 2019. The nine aspirants also accused key members of the NEC of bias towards Mr John Mahama, the former President. They singled out the NDC Chairman and General Secretary, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and Johnson Asiedu Nketia, as having “made public statements to the effect that they prefer the same individual to lead the party into the 2020 elections.” But the Council of Elders only caused the fee to be slashed by GHS 100,000, making it GHS 300,000 , whiles the nomination forms remained at Ghc20,000. The Council also pushed for the primaries to be held on January 26, instead of the initial January 19, 2019 date, and pushed for December 4 nomination deadline to be extended to Saturday December 8, to allow for persons who could not pick forms more time to do so. This is despite a justification by the National Executive Committee of the party that the amount charged was only a fraction of the estimated cost of organizing the upcoming elections. Before the intervention, five of the aspirants, namely, John Mahama, Prof. Joshua Alabi, Alban Bagbin, Slyvester Mensah and Stephen Atubiga picked their nomination forms for GHS 20,000 each. So far, three hopefuls, Elikplim Agbemava, Stephen Atubiga and former Metropolitan Chief Executive of Kumasi, Mr Kojo Bonsu, have opted out of the race. Mr. Agbemava and Stephen Atubiga, in announcing their respective decisions, said they had decided to throw their weight behind the candidature of former president Mahama. Mr. Bonsu on the other hand in a statement said the decision to opt out was as a result of “considerable deliberation and reflection”. – Source : citinewsroom.com