The Electoral Commission (EC) has opened online nominations for presidential and parliamentary aspirants for the December 7, 2020 elections.
The Commission has also fixed the filing fee for presidential aspirants at GH¢100,000 and that for parliamentary aspirants at GH¢10,000. The figure for the presidential aspirants is a 100 per cent increase over the 2016 filing fee while that of the parliamentary candidates did not see any change.
The EC Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa, who announced this at the Let the Citizens Know Series in Accra yesterday, said the Commission would receive completed forms from the aspirants from October 5 to 9, this year.
She explained that unlike previous elections where political parties manually picked forms, the EC had uploaded the nomination forms and the guidelines for completing the forms on its website for political parties to download and fill.
Mrs Mensa said each political party would be provided with a unique password that would allow them access to the nomination forms.
“In a bid to ensure the security and integrity of the nomination process, each political party will be provided a unique password to enable them to access the password-protected nomination forms. The passwords will be provided to the General Secretaries of the political parties,” she said.
The EC boss added that all independent aspirants would also be provided with the unique passwords.
“The representatives of the independent aspirants and the General Secretaries of the political parties should contact the Director of Information Technology (IT) at the EC to receive their passwords,” she added.
Receipt of forms
On the filing process, she said the EC had decided to extend the period for the receiving of nominations from two to five days (October 5 to 9).
That, she said, would not only reduce the pressure on candidates to file, but would also minimise the massing up at the EC offices by candidates and their supporters.
She added that the EC had decided that all candidates must contact the Commission for prior appointment for the submission of their completed forms as a measure to cut down the number of people.
“Candidates contesting on the ticket of registered political parties would be required to provide an introductory letter, duly endorsed by the National Chairman or General Secretary of the party, when submitting the nomination forms,” she added.
Presidential aspirants’ filing
For presidential aspirants, she said they would require two persons to serve as the nominator and seconder respectively, with two other registered voters in each of the 275 constituencies.
She added that after completing the nomination forms, the Presidential aspirants would be required to present the completed form together with a bankers draft for GH¢100,000 at the EC head office.
Mrs Mensa said the presidential aspirants were to submit their completed forms to the EC Chairperson, who was the Returning Officer for the presidential elections.
“The forms shall be submitted at the head office of the EC by the aspirants or their supporters. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EC has limited the number of persons to submit the forms at the head office and the district offices to five,” she added.
She said a presidential aspirant must also designate a person as vice presidential aspirant.
Mrs Mensa said parliamentary aspirants “must be endorsed by two persons as a Proposer and Seconder and supported by Eighteen (18) persons all of whom must be registered voters in the constituency for which the aspirant seeks election.”
“It is important to note that four passport-sized copies of a recent photograph of the aspirant on a red background, showing his or her full face and ears are to be delivered together with the Nomination Forms for both Presidential and Parliamentary aspirants,” she added..
The EC Chairperson said the parliamentary aspirants were also required to submit their completed nomination forms together with a banker’s draft of GH¢10,000 to the Returning Officers at the district offices of the Commission.
She said the parliamentary aspirants were also to strictly comply with the directive to send at most five people for the submission of completed nomination forms at the district offices of the Commission.
The EC Chairperson also said aspirants for both presidential and parliamentary elections would be required “to deliver or cause to be delivered to the Returning Officer, a Statutory declaration to the effect that he or she is qualified to be elected as President of Ghana or Member of Parliament respectively and that he or she is not disqualified from being elected as such.”
“The Statutory Declaration shall be made before a Judge, Judicial Officer, Notary Public, Commissioner for Oaths, or a person authorised by law to administer an oath,” she added.
She said a aspirant’s nomination would be considered invalid if the aspirant or any of the supporters provided inaccurate voter details; for instance, wrong ID numbers.
Additionally, she said the nomination could be nullified if “the aspirants or any of the supporters provide incomplete voter details – no polling station name or Voter’s ID number are provided; or the voter details of supporters are misplaced (voter information belongs to constituencies other than where the aspirant seeks to contest),” she added.
The EC Chairperson also said any aspirant whose supporters were less than the required number would have their nominations annulled.
“If a voter endorses more than one aspirant for presidential election or the aspirant fails to submit a banker’s draft covering the total amount required by the EC, the nomination will be nullified,” she said.