The daughter of ex-President, Jerry John Rawlings, has finally been dragged to an Accra High Court by four individuals, asking the court to annul her November 21 victory in the parliamentary primaries of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), as she was not qualified to contest the election, as per the 1992 Constitution and the party’s own guidelines set for the race.
In a writ dated December 11, 2015 the four individuals, are demanding an order, directing the NDC for a re-run of the parliamentary primary in the Klottey-Korley Constituency in the Greater Accra Region.
They insisted that, upon completion of the NDC’s party register, they realized that Dr Rawlings’ name was not in the register in the Constituency, and although they protested and demanded for her disqualification, their complaints were disregarded by the party.
Lawyer Gary Nimako Marfo, who cited the NDC and the Electoral Commission (EC) in the lawsuit, is also asking a declaration that, Dr. Rawlings’ election as parliamentary candidate for the NDC is null and void, since it violates the Constitution of the party, as well as Article 94(1) (a) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
The four persons are; Joseph Narku Botchway, Jacob Amin, Alhaj Mohammed Mahmud and Rev. Michael Kwabena Nii Adjei Sowah.
Their lawyer, had earlier written to the EC, demanding to know whether Dr. Rawlings; a medical doctor was a registered voter in Ghana. It is not clear if the EC has responded to the letter.
But they now want the High Court to order a re-run of the Parliamentary primaries for the two other contestants namely; Nii Armah Ashitey and John Coleman within two weeks of the annulment of the election in accordance with the NDC’s Constitution and regulation governing the 2016 parliamentary primaries.
In their statement of claim, the four averred that, per the NDC Constitution, a person shall not be qualified to contest for any primary, if he or she is disqualified under national electoral laws from contesting for a parliamentary seat.
For this reason, Mr. Nimako of Safo and Marfo@Law, is praying the High Court to declare that the decision by the NDC to allow Dr. Rawlings, to contest parliamentary primary in Klottey-Korle, when she was not a registered voter within the meaning of Article 94 of 1992 Constitution at the time of the said contest, violates the Constitution and the internal regulations governing the conduct of parliamentary primary of the governing party.
The writ also demanded an injunction restraining the daughter of the NDC founder; J.J Rawlings, from holding herself out or allowing herself to be held out by the NDC and the EC as the parliamentary candidate-elect for the Klottey Korle Constituency, until the matter in dispute is heard and disposed off by the court.
The plaintiffs explained that, as part of the preparations for the conduct of the said election in the Constituency, the party commenced the compilation of a biometric electoral register of its members based on the 2012 National Biometric Voter’s register compiled by the EC.
According to them, the party also publicly announced that, it was tailoring its register alongside the national register so that members, who register on the biometric register are eligible voters on the national Biometric voter’s register of the EC.
But upon completion of the said register of NDC members, it was exhibited for the purpose of the public election, and upon exhibition, they realized that, Dr Rawlings’ name was not on the NDC’s register in the Constituency. They protested and demanded for her disqualification, but were disregarded by the party.
Meanwhile, The Herald, has seen documents emanating from the Klottey-Korley, indicating that a petition was written by the four to the Greater Accra regional NDC to have Dr. Rawlings disqualified, and although the petition got a response dated December 10, 2015, it was flippant.
The NDC Regional Secretary; Victor Quarshie Adonoo, who signed the response titled “Petition for the disqualification of Dr. Zenator Agyemang Rawlings” said “we received your petition dated December 2, 2015. At the regional executive meeting held on December 9, we deliberated on your petition and comments as follows:
“That all the contestants for the Klottey Korle were vetted by the vetting committee and cleared to contest the primary which took on November 22, except Leeford Quarshie”.
“That as far as the Greater Accra Regional Executive is concerned, Dr. Zanetor Agyemang Rawlings is the Parliamentary Candidate for the Klottey Korle Constituency”, the response stated.