All Systems Go Electoral Commission Ready To Hold Assembly Elections

The Electoral Commission (EC) has hinted that District Level and Unit Committee Elections will hold in March, 2015

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Baring any hitch, the Electoral Commission (EC) is ready to conduct the District Level and Unit Committee Elections on March 3, Hajia Saadatu Maida, a member of the EC has stated.

The Commission Member warned that the district level election is non-partisan and candidates could not use the name of party, motto or symbol of a political party.

She said unlike the previous elections, where polling stations were provided with one verification machine, this time, two verification machines would be supplied to all the 6,156 polling stations to take care of any eventuality.

She explained that a candidate who contravenes the law would have his or nomination cancelled while political parties are debarred from endorsing and sponsoring a candidate and canvassing for votes for anyone, as well as campaigning for or against any aspirant.

“Any political party that contravenes these rules is liable on conviction to pay a fine not exceeding five million- cedi,” she said.

Hajia Maida said before the coming into force of the district assembly elections, (amendment) Act 2010 (act 801) candidates could not mount their own platforms.

She however said, with the amendment of Act 473 and the coming into force of Act 801 in 2010, candidates are  now able to do so but no party could mount a platform for any or all the aspirants.

She added that no organisation, group of persons or individuals could mount a platform for the use of a candidate or all the candidates.

“An organisation, which is desirous of supporting platform mounting, may place the resources at the disposal of the Commission to mount a platform for the common use of all the candidates.”

She said any party, group or individual who mounts a platform without recourse to the Commission infringes the law and would be liable upon conviction to pay a fine not exceeding 250 penalty units.

On withdrawal of candidature, Hajia Maida said a candidate may at any time before the Election Day withdraw his or her candidature and only an applicant could do so.

Hajia Maida said withdrawal of candidature should be in writing addressed to the Commission, and if the withdrawal occurred after printing of the ballot papers, the name and particulars of the candidate would continue to remain on ballot paper but any votes cast in his or her favour would not be counted.

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