Nduom Grieves Over 2016 Election Disqualification

Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom

The 2016 presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has not come to terms with reasons for his initial disqualification from the presidential election organized by the Electoral Commission (EC) in 2016.

It would be recalled that on October 10, 2016, the EC disqualified 12 out of the total 17 aspirants, who submitted their forms to be considered as presidential candidates to take part in the general elections.

Only four presidential aspirants were allowed to contest in the 2016 elections, while the fifth candidate was allowed to sort out his pending court case.

The EC, at the time, cited false declarations by the disqualified aspirants, including Dr Nduom, as the basis for their disqualification.

PPP later sued the EC and through a ruling by a court presided over by Justice Kyei Baffour, Dr Nduom’s disqualification was later annulled, paving the way for him to join the race again.

But a year after the incident, Dr Nduom said he was still devastated about his disqualification, which he claimed negatively affected his chances in the elections.

He accused the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) of conniving with the EC to “reduce the elections to a two horse race.”

“It was all a pre-meditated, deliberate act. Politically motivated and I will never forget that day,” he wept, as he addressed journalists on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 from the York Hall of the Coconut Groove Hotel in Accra to give a review of PPP’s performance in the 2016 elections.

“I have tried several times to write a speech for today.  But I failed.  At every turn it got too emotional, too negative, too personal so unlike me some would say; so no speech today. Just some random thoughts,” he said.

The actions by the EC, headed by Charlotte Osei on that day, according to Dr Nduom, “weakened what should be a strong, independent state institution.”

He said, “It proved to me who my real friends are. It showed the pettiness of some of our so-called leaders.

“October 10th was an embodiment of politics of exclusion. Indeed, it stood as a symbol of our national governance by exclusion,” he noted.

“It made me begin to realize how naive I had been about politics in Ghana. The idea that we do it to serve our many people was broken. They rejoiced because by elimination, one of them would win. No need to wonder “what if,” according to him.

Broken Campaign

The disqualification and the ensuing legal battles that followed broke the PPP’s campaign, four years of organizing, hard work, emotions. And huge investment of our hard-earned Ghanaian money from party faithful, Gone,” he claimed.

Effects Of Disqualification

The National Chairman of PPP, Brew Hammond, indicated that the disqualification dealt a fatal blow to the PPP, and that the party might have probably won the 2016 polls if not for that incident.

“It would be recalled that while the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) was battling its disqualification case at the law courts, the other favoured political parties were busily campaigning and canvassing for votes,” he said.

According to him, “Many of our party members lost respect in their constituencies as a result of the criminal attachment to the case.”

He noted that “this also led to emotional exhaustion, low levels of morale creating absenteeism, lack of motivation and interest in the election battle for the peoples’ hearts and minds.”

“Party members were thoroughly demoralized as a result of the EC’s wrongful accusations,” he added.

By Melvin Tarlue