The Electoral Commission has clarified the eligibility requirements for contesting an election in a particular constituency in Ghana. According to Article 94 of the 1992 Constitution, a person does not need to be a registered voter in a specific constituency to run for election there.
However, if a person wishes to contest a Parliamentary election in a constituency they do not hail from, they must be ordinarily resident there or have resided there for at least five years out of the previous ten years.
The clarification from the Electoral Commission comes in response to an allegation made by Sammy Gyamfi, the National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who claimed that the Electoral Commission and the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) were collaborating to transfer the vote of Charles Opoku to the Assin North constituency ahead of the by-election on June 27. Mr. Gyamfi alleged that this was to enable Charles Opoku to contest the by-election.
The Electoral Commission, in a press statement, dismissed Mr. Gyamfi’s allegation as misleading and false. The Commission stated that they have not received any request from the NPP to transfer the votes of any person, and the allegation is aimed at maligning the integrity of the Electoral Commission.
The Commission emphasized that a person does not need to be a registered voter in a particular constituency to contest an election there, as per the constitutional provisions.
The NPP also responded to the allegations, stating that they have not even held a primary to select a candidate for the Assin North constituency. They rejected the claim that they were plotting with the Electoral Commission to insert an unqualified candidate’s name in the constituency register.
The Electoral Commission reiterated its commitment to transparency, fairness, and integrity in its operations and called on Ghanaians to trust the Commission to deliver credible elections.
The NDC was criticized for continuously maligning state institutions such as the Electoral Commission, which undermines the country’s democracy, according to the Commission.