The dream of the former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawling, to rub shoulders with former First Lady of the United States of America (USA), Hillary Clinton, and perhaps become the first female president of Ghana, was dashed on Monday, when she was stopped for the second time by the Electoral Commission (EC).
She was one of the 13 nominees of the various political parties for this year’s election, who failed to meet the requirements needed to be a candidate in the impending December 7 general elections.
But her friend, Hillary Clinton, who was also the First Lady at the time Mrs. Rawlings was also the first lady between 1992 to 1996, successfully went through her party’s primaries and won, making her the Democrats’ candidate for the November 8, 2016 polls.
Before finally becoming the presidential candidate of the Democrats, Mrs. Clinton, contested current US president, Barrack Obama and lost in 2007. She never contemplated resigning from the party and so waited till it got to her turn last year, when they had another primary.
She is tipped to win the presidential elections as her closest contender, Donald Trump of the Republican, is said to be no match for the 68 year old. However, her counterpart, Mrs. Rawlings also 68, seems not to be competing with only Mrs. Clinton, but her husband too.
Mrs. Rawlings, left the governing party after contesting the late president, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, in July 2011 and abysmally lost with just 90 votes as against 2, 771 at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Hillary is strongly backed by her husband, ex-president Bill Clinton, and perhaps he is her number one supporter, but same cannot be said about Mrs. Rawlings.
While, she walked away in anger, her husband remained with the NDC and in the December presidential and parliamentary elections, their first daughter, Zanator Agyeman Rawlings, is contesting in the Klottey Korley Constituency on the ticket of the NDC as parliamentary candidate.
She seems to be silently competing with the husband she has formed a party and is busily struggling to become president after serving for 19 years as First Lady and the husband, the president.
Not taken a cue from what transpired in America so that she stays with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) which her husband founded, she immediately formed the National Democratic Party (NDP) to challenge the NDC in the December 7 2012 elections.
Unfortunately for her, she was unable to even complete her forms at the time and so was rejected by the EC, which was headed by Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan.
Mrs. Rawlings, since that incident, has never agreed with the EC and so it was expected that this time round, they would put their house in order so that they will meet the requirement for the first time.
She has been disqualified yet again and already, the NDP, has threatened to expose the chairperson of the electoral body, Charlotte Osei for the Monday afternoon announcement.
Explaining the disqualification of the NDP, the EC said that “The Commission is unable to accept Mrs. Rawlings’ nomination because the number of subscriber on page 89 of her nomination forms is not a validly registered voter, and illegally registered twice and so is on the Exclusion list of multiple voters. Details are Salifu Abdulai District: Nanumba South, Voter ID no: 2126900022 (28.32012) Voter ID no: 2126900022 (04.8.2014).
But according to the NDP’s Deputy Communications Director, Ernest Kofi Owusu Bempah, the disqualification of the party’s flagbearer, was a deliberate attempt by the EC to ensure the NDP does not contest in the elections.
“This is a deliberate attempt by Charlotte Osei and the EC to disqualify us….they should for themselves for tarnishing the image of our multiparty democracy in the pockets of the government of the day and trying to please their pay masters”, Bempah told Citi FM on Monday.
He challenged the EC’s reasons for his party’s disqualification stating that, the EC must provide additional information on the basis for their disqualification.
“You can’t just come and disqualify somebody because you have stated reasons. This is totally unacceptable and as a party we are going to take a strong decision on this to the highest level; we will do that to make sure we will never allow this one to pass.It is totally unacceptable, we know as far as we are concerned as a party that, we filled the document and provided all the information that they [EC] needed, he said.
If she [Charlotte Osei] wants to go that tangent, we wll strip her naked in this country for everybody to know…we are all ready to play that game…she should come out and tell us who she really is”, he concluded. Bempah is contesting the Asante Akyem parliamentary seat on the ticket of the NDP.