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21.10.2004 Politics

President Kufuor files nomination papers

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Accra, Oct. 21, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor, presidential nominee of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), on Thursday filed his papers at the Electoral Commission (EC) to contest the December 7 2004 Polls.

The Chairman of the Commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, who is the Returning Officer for the Presidential Elections, accepted President Kufuor's candidature, with that of his running mate, Vice President Aliu Mahama, at 1215, having conducted an electronic and visual scrutiny of the papers.

Mr Kwadwo Mpianim, Chief of Staff and Mr Harouna Esseku, National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, endorsed the documents of the candidates.

As the Commissioners and other officials of the EC scrutinized the documents, President Kufuor, had a t=EAte-=E0-t=EAte with his running mate, who was smartly dressed in a blue full piece Agbada that matched the President's blue jumper.

A large entourage of Ministers of State, Party Executives, including General Secretary Dan Botwe were in attendance to give the candidates morale support.

Outside the building of the Commission a crowd of party faithful listened to soft music from a campaign van and danced, while others performed some northern songs and dances at a distance.

The atmosphere became charged with excitement as the candidates stepped out to enter their vehicles and acknowledged the support with smiles and waving.

The normally quite premises of the EC have become vibrant on Thursday with taxi drivers hanging around for possible business as party after party arrived with ceremony to fulfil the official requirements to be able to contest the elections.

President Kufuor became the second aspiring presidential candidate to file nomination papers on the final day of nominations. The NDC candidate, Professor John Evans Atta Mills was the first to file his papers.

The other aspiring candidates who are yet to file nominations are the Convention People's Party (CPP), which has Mr George Aguddey and the Grand Coalition comprising the People's National Convention (PNC), the EGLE and the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), which has Dr Edward Mahama as the candidate.

The presidential nomination papers are to be filed at the EC Headquarters, while parliamentary nomination papers are to be submitted at EC district offices.

Details required for presidential nominations include particulars of two registered voters resident in each of the 138 districts, a statutory declaration and an assets declaration. Parliamentary candidates present statutory and assets declaration except 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 duly 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 presidential election and 12 per cent of the parliamentary contest would be refunded.

Those who fail to obtain the required percentage would forfeit their deposit to the state.

Each presidential candidate is to pay a deposit of 20 million cedis while each parliamentary candidate is to pay five million cedis. Some of the parties have deposited cheques at the EC to cover their presidential and parliamentary candidates. 21 Oct. 04

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