A Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in charge of Operations, Peter Boamah Otokunor, has disclosed on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, the party has not received a petition from six presidential candidates hopeful as reported by some section of the media.
He told Kwabena Agyapong that the party heard in the media and read on social media but doubt if the petition was indeed from the six aspirants because of its content.
Six out of the seven contestants contesting for the position as presidential candidate in the upcoming National Democratic Congress presidential primaries have petitioned the party over concerns surrounding the award of contract for the printing of ballots for the exercise.
According to the petitioners, the decision by the party to award the contract to the same company that printed ballots for the November national executive elections is not the best.
They said the November polls were faced with some irregularities with regards to the ballots printed.
“We are also deeply concerned about the apparent decision to award the contract for printing of the ballots to the same company that printed ballots for the November NEC elections. As you are no doubt aware several contestants and observers of those elections have described significant irregularities with the ballot papers (amongst other irregularities). These include incorrect rendering of aspirants’ names, mismatching of pictures and names and presence of duplicate ballot papers (i.e. with the same supposedly “unique” serial number). All of these irregularities have been cited in a discourse that calls the legitimacy of the outcome of some of the NEC elections in question.”
The petitioners, Professor Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, Nurudeen Ali, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Goosie Tanoh and Alban Bagbin also raised a number of issues aside the printing of the ballots.
But the deputy scribe who was on his way to the office at the time he granted the interview said he would find out form the office if such a petition has been filed.
On the issue of the printing of the ballots, he said, ‘’I think this petition and the news is fake but if it is genuine then it is also surprising for them to make such a claim because there are laws and administrative procedures for such contracts and that is not the prerogative of any aspirant to choose a company for the printing.
Mr Otokunor further indicated that, it would be extremely surprising for the petitioners to also complain in their petition that, the register given them was problematic.
The party he explained met with all the aspirants on multiple occasions and told them it would not be all the delegates that may have their photos showing on the register, this the aspirants agreed and so it is surprising for them to say this in the petition, he decried.
He also revealed the party has agreed with the candidates delegates would have to show proof that there are the ones on the register and so ‘’I doubt if the petition was written by the six aspirants. Because we want to organize a free, fair and transparent primaries, we have established a number of channels for them to use in addressing their concerns and so, if they have abandoned these channels and written a petition and circulate it in the media when the party has not officially received same, then it is so embarrassing and does not show good faith because we have shown goodwill to ensure a transparent process,’’ he added.