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28.10.2004 NPP News

1st Win for NPP?

By Accra Mail
Listen to article NDC opponent flouts EC requirement

...or would EC forgive him as it did Dr. Mahama?

Mr Osei Kufour, the NDC parliamentary aspirant for Amenfi-East is likely to be disqualified from Election should the Electoral Commission confirm that he indeed indulged in an electoral malpractice at the time of filing his forms last week.

He stands accused of filing to contest a parliamentary seat in a constituency where he is not a registered voter - an illegal act in Ghana's electoral laws.

Mr Kufour, whether in desperation or just simple absent-mindedness did not transfer his vote from Bogoso in the Prestea Huni-Valley Constituency where he was residing at the deadline for filing the nominations.

His ambition to contest for the Amenfi-East seat with the NPP candidate Mr Joseph Boahene Aidoo now hangs in the balance.

Mr. John Amihere the acting Western Regional Director of the Electoral Commission told the ADM in Accra yesterday that it was the NPP candidate Mr Aidoo who noticed the anomaly and reported it to the Commission.

He said Mr Aidoo demanded that Mr. Kufour's registration to contest the parliamentary seat be nullified. He said he submitted the Returning Officer's Report on the issue to the Chief Director of the Commission to decide on it.

The Chief Director of the Electoral Commission Mr. Kwame Damoah-Agyemang told the ADM that the law requires from a parliamentary aspirant who is not a registered voter in the constituency he is going to contes, to apply for a vote transfer before filing his nomination.

"But Mr Kufour, according to the Returning Officer, did not comply with the provision" said Mr Damoah-Agyemang.

On what decision the Commission is going to take on the NDC candidate, he said the Returning Officer's report on the issue was just submitted to him on Monday in the absence of the Chairman of the Commission Dr. Dan Afari-Djan.

The Commission, Mr. Damoah-Agyemang said, would study the report at the appropriate time and decide whether the provision, which requires application for vote transfer, should be ignored or obeyed.

However most NPP members from the area that the ADM spoke to were optimistic that Mr. Kufour would be disqualified for his action which they referred to as a criminal offence. Should that pass, then the NPP would get its first parliamentary seat even before any votes have been cast.

When ADM spoke to NPP's candidate, who is also Regional Minister for the Western Region, he was quietly optimistic that he would register the first win for the NPP.

Many other NPP supporters wish and think so but it is left to be seen how the Electoral Commission would decide especially in the light of the extension given Dr. Edward Mahama of PNC to sort out his papers when his wrong documents meant he would fail to meet the deadline for the filing of his nomination papers.

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