Seizure of Political Party Licence Done By Law, Not Witch-Hunt—Dr Quaicoe
Director of Election Services, at the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana, Dr Serebour Quaicoe has disclosed the Commission’s decision to enforce political party law is not ‘witch-hunting’; rather to ensure compliance of the law.
He believes the commission’s over three decades of tolerance for political parties was a great opportunity for the parties who meant business to correct wrongs and be matured enough to meet all requirements of the EC.
According to Dr Quaicoe, Ghana had practised multi-party democracy for the past 30 years; therefore, all political parties must meet the conditions under the law to make them fully accepted.
He was talking with regards to the seizure of the registration certificates of some 17 political parties that had no national and regional offices as required by the the country’s electoral law.
A notice signed and issued by the Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa and published yesterday, (Monday, November 14,2022) established, “Pursuant to the publication by the Electoral Commission dated October 13 and 17, 2022, the General Public is hereby informed that the Registration Certificates of the under-listed Political Parties have been cancelled in accordance with Section 15 (3) (c) of the Political Parties Law, 2000 (Act 574) effective the 1st day of November, 2022
The statement added, “The commission has therefore struck out the names or the above-mentioned entities from the list of Political Parties in Ghana.”
Parties Whose Licenses Are Revoked
The Electoral Commission in a notice put out in early October, this year gave the 17 political parties up to October 20, 2022 to show proof why their registration should not be cancelled under the Political Parties Act of 2000, Act 574.
According to the Commission, after a nationwide inspection tour, 17 political parties were found not to have offices at the national and regional levels as required by Section 15 (1) (Act 574).
This is to ensure compliance with Section 22 (1) of the Political Parties Act, 2000 (Act 574). The exercise was conducted by the EC from May 16 to June 29, 2022.
The affected parties are Democratic People’s Party, Yes People’s Party, United Ghana Movement, Democratic Freedom Party, New Vision Party, Ghana Democratic Republican Party, United Front Party, United Development System Party and Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere.
Others were;People’s Action Party, United Renaissance Party, National Reform Party, United Love Party Ghana National Party, Power Unity Party, United Progressive Party and Reform Patriotic Democrats.
According to Dr Quaicoe, “The law says that every political party shall elect persons as it may be determined by the party, elections of national, regional and constituency officers shall be conducted by the supervision of the EC.
“Some of them since they came have not conducted any elections so if such parties’ registrations are being cancelled, it is not about witch- hunting.”
Asked why the EC had failed to crack the whip all this while, Dr Quaicoe said it was the policy of a former Chairman of the commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari- Gyan, that the political parties must be given room to grow but after 30 years of practising multi-party democracy “we have grown and the laws must apply”.