Head of Communications at the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana, Eric Dzakpasu, has refuted allegations that the commission threatened to deal with the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) prior to the disqualification of its flag bearer Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom.
The party had earlier sued the EC over the filing fees of presidential and parliamentary aspirants, which the party felt was arbitrary and not governed by law.
In the wake of Dr Nduom’s disqualification, the PPP parliamentary candidate for Ayawaso West Wuogon, William Dowokpor, who was a guest on Citi FM’s The Big Issue, accused Mr Dzakpasu of playing a role in the rejection of the party’s presidential aspirant.
“They said they were going to cut us to size and put us where we belong. Dzakpasu said they were going to show us where power lies right there at the office,” he alleged.
To him, the comments of Mr Dzakpasu influenced the recent “disqualification of Dr Nduom because we had taken the establishment on in court”.
He explained that according to the rules, the EC was supposed to prompt the party to rectify any anomalies with their nomination.
“We believe that the EC is deliberately picking on us,” he added.
He said there were several reasons which made the party feel it was “being discriminated against”.
Mr Dowokpor indicated that portions of the nomination forms require declaration of assets by the presidential aspirant. He, therefore, could not understand how Dr Nduom, who declared his assets, could be disqualified when other aspirants who failed to do so have had their nominations approved.
Additionally, he articulated that the EC requested political parties to submit their audited financial accounts by May 31, 2016.
“The PPP submitted but the NDC and NPP had not submitted their audited accounts and we think that if the EC went by those rules, the NDC and NPP will not have been admitted per their own rules,” the MP hopeful continued.
He indicated that the EC was not above administrative errors, as page 46 of Dr Nduom’s nomination document presented to the EC was missing when the commission returned the document after disqualifying the PPP flag bearer.
In reaction, Mr Dzakpasu, who was interviewed on the same show, said there was no way he could have made the comments Mr Dowokpor alleged he made. “I never said that, I could not have said that, and I will never say anything of that nature,” he said.
He continued: “Where, when and how could I have said that because I am nowhere near those who make decisions on the receipt of nominations on who goes through or who is not.”
He explained that any aggrieved person who decides to resolve any grievance at the court has the right to do so, instead of making it a personal issue between the EC and any party.
“Anyone who goes to court over an electoral process has a legitimate right to do so,” he added.
The PPP parliamentary candidate for Ayawaso West Wuogon later apologised and retracted the allegations against the Public Affairs Director of the EC.
“Since you insist that you did not say that, I will withdraw and apologise to you,” he concluded.