A decision by the Electoral Commission to disqualify Edward York, who filed his nomination to contest yesterday’s District Assembly Election at the Adra Electoral Area in Takoradi, in the Western Region, has sent the man to his early grave.
His disqualification was based on the new Constitutional Instrument (CI 89), which regulates the conduct of the election.
The CI 89, which was introduced recently, stipulates that candidate(s) who had attained the age of 70 and above cannot contest the assembly election.
Determined to retain his seat, when he received his ex-gratia of È»2,500 at the end of the last Assembly session, he invested all the money into his campaign to print posters and T-shirts among others, only to be disqualified at the last minute, after the introduction of the CI 89.
Some candidates of the Assembly elections who spoke with The Chronicle in an interview have described the sudden departure of their 75 years old colleague, who is the immediate past Assemblyman
for the Adra Electoral area as “out of shock”.
One Assembly member told this reporter “anytime he meets me, he complains that he had used his ex-gratia to campaign only for the EC to disqualify him from the race”.
The late Mr. Yorke, who expressed worry over the development, before his demise, told this reporter in a telephone interview that he was considering dragging the EC to court over his disqualification.
In a related development, but for the timely intervention of personnel from the Kwesimintsim District Police Command, supporters of Nana Adjei, a former Assembly member of the Kansawrodo electoral area in the Western Region, would have prevented the voting of yesterday’s district level election from being held.
This was because Nana Adjei, who was seeking re-election, was disqualified from contesting the election for serving a one week prison sentence. He was sentenced for contempt of court.
Someone petitioned the Western Regional Officer of the Electoral Commission (EC), Stephen Opoku- Mensah about the conviction of the ex-Assemblyman, and attached copies of the judgment documents.
Mr. Opoku-Mensah, who confirmed the disqualification of the candidate from the race, as a result of the sentence said by the conviction, Nana Adjei cannot seek reelection, adding he can only do that after a period of ten years.
Supporters of the ex- Assemblyman who were not happy with the turn of events then decided to ensure that without their candidate, they will not allow the election to take place at the polling station.
Therefore, when yesterday morning, well meaning electorates in the area trooped to the polling station to cast their votes, the supporters organized themselves, stormed the station, started burning lorry tires and chanting slogans such as ‘No Nana Adjei, No Vote’.
The development, The Chronicle gathered, scared residents of Kansawrodo from coming out to cast their votes.
It was, however, the swift intervention of the Kwesimintsim Police personnel that eventually restored calm and order in the area to allow the election process to continue.
Three persons, including Matthew Kweku Adams, Atopetu Kobina and Emmanuel Ackon, besides the disqualified ex-
Assemblyman filed their nominations to contest the position.
In the Tanokrom West electoral area, the election could not come off, following a motion of interlocutory injunction served on the EC by the immediate past Assemblyman, Samuel Kwesi Anderson, who was earlier disqualified from the race for allegedly lying under oath.
Information available to The Chronicle indicates that the candidate, while filing his application forms declared that he was an A- level holder, when in actual fact, all he had was an O-level certificate.
Mr. Kwesi Anderson, has nevertheless, come out to explain that he did not deliberately deceive the EC when he indicated that he was an A- level certificate holder, saying he mistakenly filed the statutory declaration form that he was an A-level holder.
Again, his deceit was exposed by a petitioner who appealed to the EC that the candidate had deceived his outfit about his qualification, which led to the EC setting up a panel to look into the matter.
Mr. Opoku Mensah, who confirmed the story in a telephone interview with The Chronicle, added that when the ECreceived the petition, it set up a panel and invited the candidate to respond to the petition.
He continued that the candidate admitted that indeed he was not an A-Level certificate holder, but rather O-Level.
He explained that after his admission, the EC panel sent a report on its investigation to the headquarters for advice, and added that the panel recommended in its report that the candidate should be disqualified from the contest.
According to the EC regional representative, what the candidate did is tantamount to deceit and that he could be arrested for that based on the demands of the statutory declaration.
Continuing, he noted that having sworn under oath, that he had an A- level certificate, which was signed by a notary officer, but which turned out to be false, he (Anderson) could be prosecuted for deceit of public officer.
Overall, in the Western region, a total of 1,650 aspirants contested the DLE in 544 electoral areas. Out of the total number, 58 were women.
There were no contests in 15 out of the total number of electoral areas, because the candidates went unopposed.
By The Chronicle