LET THE CITIZEN KNOW
PRESENTATION BY THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION,
MRS JEAN MENSA
ON MONDAY THE 14TH OF SEPTEMBER, 2020
ON THE FILING AND RECEIPT OF NOMINATION FORMS FOR THE 2020
PRESIDENTIAL AND PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION
AT 4:00 PM
Good evening citizens of Ghana and our friends from the media. On behalf of the Electoral Commission, I welcome you warmly to this edition of the “Let the Citizen Know”. The purpose of our engagement here today is to throw the spotlight on important aspect of our electoral process- Here I’m referring to the nomination process governing the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections slated for the 7th of December, 2020.
This year’s nomination process will be different from previous nominations As you are all aware, we are operating in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result the Commission has introduced a number of measures to reduce human contact and human traffic in its activities and operations to a large extent.
The Commission is mindful of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and is desirous of ensuring that all its stakeholders, i.e. leadership of the political parties and the citizenry remain safe and secure in spaces provided by the Commission as well as during activities undertaken by the Commission in the lead up to the General Election on December 7th 2020. Our commitment to promote and undertake COVID 19 free elections has largely informed and influenced the changes we have made to our activities. The nomination process is not left out.
Now to the reason why we are here.
Where To Collect Nomination Forms
As part of our efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Commission will make the Nomination Forms for the 2020 General Elections available to registered Political Parties online. The forms may be accessed on the Electoral Commission’s website; http://ec.gov.gh/political-parties/
Forms will be available to all Political Parties from 6 pm today.
In our bid to ensure the security and integrity of the nomination process, each
Political Party will be provided with a unique password to enable them access the password protected Nomination Forms via Political Party named folders. The password will be provided to the General Secretaries of the Political Parties.
It is important to note that Independent Candidates will also be issued with unique passwords.
General Secretaries of the Political Parties and Representatives of Independent Candidates should kindly call the Head of our Information Technology Department to assess their password.
Guidelines For The Filing Of Nomination Forms
The Commission has developed detailed guidelines to govern the completion of the Nomination Forms. The Guidelines are available on the Commission’s website.
Additionally, an emergency contact telephone number has been made available in case the Political Parties require assistance in completing the Nomination Forms.
Receipt Of Nominations
The Commission will receive the Nomination Forms from the Presidential and Parliamentary Candidates from Monday, 5th October to Friday, 9th October, 2020 between the hours of 9 am and 12 noon and 2 pm to 5pm each day. The Nomination Forms, are to be submitted in quadruplicates.
Where To Submit Nomination Forms
a.) The Nomination Forms for Presidential Candidates shall be submitted to the
Chairperson of the Electoral Commission who is the Returning Officer for the
Presidential Election. The Forms shall be submitted at the Head Office of the
Electoral Commission, by Candidates or any of their supporters. In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has limited the number of persons to submit the Forms to five (5) persons per Political Party.
b.) The Nomination Forms for Parliamentary Candidates shall be submitted to the Returning Officer of the Constituency to which the Candidate seeks election, at the District Office of the Electoral Commission. The Forms shall be submitted by the Candidate or his or her Proposer/Seconder.
To promote efficiency and orderliness on the submission of Nomination Forms, Political Parties are encouraged to contact the Director for Electoral Services to arrange a day and time for submission within the Five (5) day period allotted for the submission of Nomination Forms, that is from the 5th-9th of October, 2020. The Commission is confident that this prior appointment will go a long way to reduce traffic, maintain order and ensure that prompt and adequate attention is accorded to each Political Party.
As part of the changes to the Nomination process, the Commission has increased the number of days for submission of Forms to five (5) days. The Commission believes that this extension of the filing process from 2 days as was the case previously, to 5 days will afford all Political Parties the opportunity to effect corrections to their Forms and minimise the unfair disqualifications that characterised the previous nomination processes due to tight timelines. Ultimately this extension will go a long way to reduce the tensions and acrimony that marred our previous Nomination process.
Now to some important details about the nomination process:
Who qualifies to contest for the presidency of our dear Nation.
A person qualifies to contest election to become President if:
• He/ she is a citizen of Ghana by birth;
• He/she is a registered voter;
• He/she is at least 40 years of age;
• He/she is qualified to contest election to Parliament.
He/She is at least 40 years of age.
He/she has paid all relevant taxes or made satisfactory arrangements with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to pay such taxes.
Despite possessing the above mentioned criteria, a person cannot be a Presidential
Candidate if He/She
(a) owes allegiance to a country other than Ghana; or
(b) has been adjudged or otherwise declared—
(i) bankrupt under any law in force in Ghana and has not been discharged; or
(ii) is of unsound mind or has been detained as a criminal lunatic under any law in force in Ghana; or
(c) has been convicted for
(i) treason or for an offence involving the security of the State, fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude; or
(ii) other offence punishable by death or by a sentence of not less than ten years; or
(iii) an offence relating to, or connected with elections under a law in force in Ghana at any time; or
(d) has been found by the report of a commission or a committee of inquiry to be incompetent to hold public office or is a person in respect of whom a commission or committee of inquiry has found that while being a public officer he acquired assets unlawfully, or defrauded the State, or misused or abused their office, or wilfully acted in a manner prejudicial to the interest of the State and the findings have not been set aside on appeal or judicial review; or
(e) is under sentence of death or other sentence of imprisonment imposed on him by any court;
(f) is not qualified to be registered as a voter under any law relating to public elections; or
(g) is otherwise disqualified by a law in force on the nomination day.
(4) It is important to note that in the case of a finding made by a commission or committee of inquiry which is not a judicial or quasi-judicial commission or committee of inquiry, the finding shall not have the effect of disqualifying a person under that paragraph unless it has been confirmed by a Government White Paper.
Who is qualified to contest election to Parliament?
A person qualifies to contest election to Parliament if:
• He/she is a citizen of Ghana
• He/she is a registered voter
• He/she is at least 21 years old
• He/she is a resident in, or hails from, the constituency concerned; or has lived there for at least 5 years out of the 10 years immediately preceding the election
He/she has paid all his/her relevant taxes or made satisfactory arrangements with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to pay such taxes.
Who cannot Contest Elections to Parliament?
A person may satisfy all the foregoing requirements but cannot contest election to Parliament if:
1. He/she owes allegiance to any other country or holds the nationality of another country in addition to Ghana
2. If under any law in force in Ghana, he/she has been declared:
a. Bankrupt and has not been discharged, or
b. To be of unsound mind
3. He/she has not been convicted treason or an offence involving the security of the state, fraud or dishonesty or
a. Any other offence punishable by death or by a sentence of not less than
b. OR any offence in connection with an election.
4. He/she has by the report of a Commission or a Committee of Enquiry, to be incompetent to hold public office, or is a person in respect of whom a Commission, or Committee of Enquiry has found that while being a Public
Office, he acquired assets unlawfully, or defrauded the state, or misused or# abused his office, or wilfully acted in a manner prejudicial to the interest of the state, and the findings have not been set aside on appeal, or judicial review.
5. He/she is under a sentence of death or other sentence of imprisonment imposed by a Court.
6. A law disqualifies him/her from registering as a voter or standing as a candidate.
7. He/she has not declared his/her assets;
8. He/she is a chief;
9. He/she is a public servant in any of the following organizations: the Police Service, the Prisons Service, the Armed Forces, the Judicial Service, the Legal Service, the Civil/Public Service, the Statistical Service, the Audit Service, the
Parliamentary Service, the National Fire Service, the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service, the Immigration Service, and the Internal Revenue Service.
A chief may become eligible to contest election to Parliament via abdication and a public servant via resignation of his/her position.
Nomination of Candidates for Presidential Election
The Nomination Forms for Candidate to the office the President shall be endorsed by at least two (2) Registered Voters in the area of authority of each District Assembly. Additionally a Presidential Candidate shall designate a person as Vice Presidential Candidate.
Nomination of Candidates for Parliamentary Election
The Nomination Forms for Candidates for an election to Parliament must be endorsed by two (2) 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 Candidate seeks election.
It is important to note that four (4) passport sized copies of a recent photograph of the candidate (Bust size) 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 Candidates.
Candidates, for both Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, would be required deliver or cause to be delivered to the Returning Officer, a Statutory Declaration to the effect that he/she is qualified to be elected as President of Ghana or Member of Parliament respectively and that he/she is not disqualified from being elected as such. The Statutory Declaration shall be made before a Judge, Judicial Officer, Notary Public, Commissioner of Oath, or a person authorized by law to administer an oath. Any of the above mentioned persons, shall certify the statutory declaration under their signature.
Now to a number of important points regarding the Nomination of Presidential and Parliamentary Candidates.
It is important to note the following:
1) No parliamentary candidate shall be nominated to contest election for than one constituency.
2) No person shall nominate more than one candidate for an election
3) 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.
4) A tax clearance certificate should be delivered together with the Nomination Forms.
5) A candidate’s nomination would be considered invalid if:
• The candidates or any of the supporters provide inaccurate voter details (e.g.
wrong ID numbers).
• The candidates or any of the supporters provide incomplete voter details (e.g. no polling station name or Voters ID number are provided).
• Voter details of supporters are misplaced (i.e. voter information belongs to constituencies other than where the candidate seeks to contest)
• Number of supporters are less than required (i.e. less than 20 for Parliamentary Candidate Elections and less than 2 per district for Presidential Candidate) • A voter endorses more than one Candidate for Presidential election.
• The candidate fails to submit a banker’s draft covering the total amount required set by the Commission.
• Relevant sections of the nomination form are not signed/thumbprinted.
Finally to the subject of Filing Fees, Presidential Candidates will be required to deposit an amount of one hundred thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC100,000.00) in the form of a banker’s draft to the Commission.
Parliamentary candidates will be required to deposit ten thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC10,000.00).
We wish Candidates for both the Presidential and Parliamentary well. We trust that the Nomination Process will be efficient, seamless and orderly.