A Regional Executive of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), have admitted claims that, the party’s vetting Committee, deliberately broke its own rules to have Dr. Zanetor Rawlings elected as the Parliamentary Candidate for Klottey Korle.
According to the party, it was fully aware that, Zanetor Rawlings, was not a registered Ghanaian voter on the Electoral Commission (EC) roll as at the time she filed, but was purposely allowed to contest for the NDC parliamentary primary elections last November.
The Regional Organizer of the party, Anthony Nukpenu, who made this startling disclosure to Richard Dela Sky on Citi FM last week, explained that, the vetting committee did not disqualify Dr. Zanetor Rawlings, because she satisfied the party’s requirement, adding that being a registered voter, was not part of the party’s requirements for persons seeking to run on the party’s ticket to Parliament.
His position vindicates The Herald’s revelation ahead of the NDC Parliamentary Primaries that, Zanetor Rawlings, isn’t a card-bearing member of the NDC. Anthony Nukpenu’s revelation, also vindicate this paper’s expose that, Zanetor, isn’t registered with the Electoral Commission to vote in Ghana.
Anthony Nukpenu’s revelation, also paints a picture of a confused governing party, as ahead of the NDC primaries, Koku Anyidoho and Kofi Adams, both national executives of the party, had explained that, the NDC membership card, could only be procured, using the national voter ID card.
Koku Anyidoho, was quoted specifically as saying that, the NDC register is purely based on the national voter register, and anyone whose name is not on the national voters register, cannot be on the NDC party’s register.
Zanetor Rawlings, did not vote during the NDC primaries, because her name was not on the party register. She had an NDC party card signed by the General Secretary, Johson Asiedu Nketiah, which enabled her to sail through the vetting process, but she could not vote, because her name was not in the NDC Constituency’s register. She visited many polling stations in search of her name, but to no avail.
When asked by Richard Sky, how the party intends to present a candidate who was not a registered voter for the November 2016 elections, Anthony Nukpenu, said she can register in March during the limited registration exercise by the EC.
However, a document containing the guidelines for the NDC parliamentary primaries in 2015, sighted by this paper states among other things, a person shall not qualify to contest for parliament if the person does not satisfy the requirements of Article 94 1a of the 1992 constitution. It also states that a person seeking to run for office of Member of Parliament must be a registered voter.
These contradictions by the party’s executives, has sparked speculations that the vetting committee of the party, flaunted the rules and guidelines of their parliamentary primaries in order to unduly favour Dr. Zanetor Rawlings, who is the first daughter of founder of the NDC, JJ Rawlings.
Series of actions, have been taken by persons in the party, who seem aggrieved by the anomaly of presenting a candidate who did not qualify to run for elections in the very beginning per the rules of the NDC Parliamentary primaries held in November 2015.
A petition, signed by over 100 youth of the party, was sent to JJ Rawlings, seeking him to counsel his daughter to step down as Parliamentary candidate to protect his integrity and that of the party.
Currently, Nii John Coleman and Nii Armah Ashietey, MP for Klottey Korle, who contested with Dr. Zanetor Rawlings, last November and feel shortchanged, are in court seeking her election to be declared null and void.
Meanwhile, many people in Klottey Korle Constituency are on tenterhooks to see how the judiciary, will handle the case since all the powers that be within the party, seem to be bending the rules for the daughter of the ex-President.
Many are also eager to see how the electoral commission, will testify in court and how they will generally handle the matter, since their credibility has been called into question by the opposition.
Prior to the NDC primaries, this paper had reported on the fact that, she was not a card-bearing member of the NDC.
Indeed, soon after the contest, one Lawyer, Gary Nimako Marfo, wrote to the Chairperson of the (EC) seeking to know “whether Dr. Zanetor Rawlings is a registered voter within the meaning of Article 94 (1) (a) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. If so, when was her name entered on the electoral register. The letter reads, please furnish us with a certified true copy of the voter’s register”.
The letter titled, Search Dr. Zanetor Rawlings, and dated November 24, 2015, was signed by Gary Nimako Marfo from his law office; Safo & Marfo @Law.
The lawyer, who is a card-bearing member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), based his arguments on article 94 of the 1992 Constitution, which stipulates that, a person is not qualified to run for a Member of Parliament (MP) in Ghana, unless such a person is a registered voter in Ghana.
Article 94, was a key requirement in the regulation of the NDC towards the acquisition of the party’s biometric membership card.