Professor John Evans Atta Mills, flag bearer of National Democratic Congress (NDC), was among the first three candidates to
file nomination papers to contest the December 7 presidential election.
Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), who is
the Returning Officer for the presidential election, received the papers and schooled the candidate on the requirements for filling nomination papers.
The NDC also paid a deposit of GH¢ 5,000 for the presidential candidate and GH¢115,000 for its 230 parliamentary candidates.
According to the electoral laws, 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.
However, those who fail to obtain the required percentage would forfeit their deposit to the state.
Prof. Atta Mills was accompanied by his running mate Mr John Dramani Mahama, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbarh, former Minister of Education, Dr Kwabena Adjei, National Chairman, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary, and other leading members of the party.
The NDC presidential candidate expressed gratitude to the Chairman of the EC for the nice reception accorded him and his running mate throughout the process of filing the nomination documents.
He said: “Just 52 days from today, Ghanaians will choose me Atta Mills as the next President, due to the human centred policy the party has rolled out in its Election 2008 manifesto.
“My tour across the country and interaction with Ghanaians has revealed that the nation is yearning for change of government, to end massive corruption, and all other social vices that have bedevilled the nation since 2001.”
Prof. Mills expressed confidence in the ability and professional competence of Mr Mahama, his running mate, saying “that is why the NDC is using him throughout the country.”
“Under Atta Mills' Presidency the Vice President would play key role in the governance of the nation, and he better start performing that role now. NDC is blessed to have a very competent, well tested and distinguished running mate.”
He also called for peaceful, transparent and credible elections, saying “politicians owe the nation a peaceful conduct of the elections, prosperity and progress and not to leave after the December polls in desperation.”
The NDC candidate said the party had invested heavily in the democratic development of the country and would not budge to any manipulation to destroy the country's democratic credentials.
Prof. Mills, former Vice President, who lost both Election 2000 and Election 2004 to President John Agyekum Kufuor, said the nation was at the 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.
Dr Afari-Gyan explained that a candidate stood nominated “whenever the nomination paper and the statutory declaration of a candidate are delivered and the deposit is paid in accordance with the relevant regulations unless proof is given to the satisfaction of the returning officer of the death, withdrawal or disqualification of the candidate.”
The 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.
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.
He explained that any person designated as vice-president for the election is also mandated to sign the statutory declaration, which forms part of requirements on the Election 2008 Nomination Form.
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.
According to the electoral requirements, all candidates contesting the Presidential and Parliamentary elections on December 7 are mandated to sign a statutory declaration affirming their qualification to stand for and be elected for the slot being contested.
The statutory declaration is to be made before and certified by either a judge, a judicial officer, notary public, commissioner of oaths, or any person authorised by law to administer an oath.
Parliamentary candidates present statutory and assets declaration and provide particulars of 20 registered voters resident in their constituencies.
The 92-page Presidential Nomination Form is divided into four parts. Part One deals details with the candidate's name, age, Voter ID Card number, Polling Station name and code, current residential address, occupation and particulars of two registered voters resident in the area of authority of each district assembly.
Part Two focuses on the Vice Presidential candidate; Part Three is statutory declaration; and Part Four is on the candidate's personal record including date and place of birth, home town, region, highest educational qualification, institution, year completed, present or last employer, position, profession, marital status and spouse.
The returning officer shall inform a candidate that his or her nomination is invalid where the particulars of the candidate or the persons subscribing to the nomination paper are not as required by law.
The candidate would be allowed an opportunity to make any amendment or alteration that the candidate considers necessary.
The returning officer will endorse and sign the nomination paper the fact and reasons for his or her decision, and inform the EC accordingly and the Commission shall refer the matter with its observations to the Attorney General.
The NDC candidate is among about six expected to file their nominations to contest the elections by 1700 hours on Friday, October 17, the final day for nominations.
The other candidates are Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the NPP, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom of Convention People's Party (CPP), Dr Edward Nasigrie Mahama of the People's National Convention (PNC), and Mr Kwesi Amoafo-Yeboah, an independent candidate.