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21.10.2004 Politics

Professor Mills files nomination papers

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Accra, Oct. 21, GNA - Professor John Evans Atta Mills of National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Thursday became the first candidate to file to contest the December 7 Presidential Election when he walked into the Conference Hall of the Electoral Commission (EC) at 1030 hours to present his nomination papers.
Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the EC, who is the Returning Officer for the Presidential Election, received the papers. Prof Mills, accompanied by Party Executives holding flags, declared: "The election is very, very crucial," adding that the election the fourth in the Fourth Republic was being monitored by friends of Ghana and Ghanaians in general.
Prof. Mills, former Vice President and the NDC Presidential Candidate, who lost the 2000 Elections to President John Agyekum Kufuor after a run-off, said the nation was at crossroads and it was expected that the ballot box would be used to effect the necessary changes that all would be happy with.
He said all would accept the results of the polls if they turned out to be truly free and fair.
The NDC Presidential Candidate is among four candidates expected to file their nominations to contest the elections by 1700 hours on Thursday, October 21, the final day for nominations.
The other candidates are: President Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr George Aguddey of the Convention People's Party (CPP) and Dr Edward Mahama of the Grand Coalition, made up of the People's National Convention (PNC), Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere (EGLE) and the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP).
The presidential nomination papers are to be filed at the EC Headquarters, while parliamentary nomination papers are to be submitted to the Commission in the districts.
Details required for presidential nominations include particulars of two registered voters resident in each of the 138 districts in the country, a statutory declaration and an assets declaration. Parliamentary Candidates present statutory and assets declaration and provide particulars of 20 registered voters resident in their constituencies.
Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, EC Chairman, told the GNA in an interview that a nominated candidate may withdraw his or her nomination at any time before 1700 hours on the day of nomination and the candidate must sign the notice.
Deposits of candidates who obtain 25 per cent of the total valid votes in the presidential election and 12 per cent in the parliamentary would be refunded.
Those who fail to obtain the required percentage would forfeit their deposit to the State, the Commission Chairman said. Each presidential candidate is to pay a deposit of 20 million cedis while each parliamentary candidate pays five million cedis. Some of the parties have deposited cheques at the EC to cover their presidential and parliamentary candidates.
The EC Chairman said the Commission had accepted the challenge to organise free, fair and transparent elections and challenged the parties to abide by the tenets of the Political Parties Code of Conduct.

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