Barely an hour after hurling invectives at the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Mr Hassan Ayariga and his All People’s Congress (APC) have rendered an unqualified apology for his outbursts.
Mr. Ayariga called Mrs Charlotte Osei “stupid” and “foolish” after he was disqualified from contesting the 2016 presidential election.
The EC Chairperson told journalists Monday afternoon “The Commission is unable to accept Dr. Ayariga’s nomination for the following reasons: (a). The candidate did not provide evidence on his statutory declaration as to his hometown or residence in the constituency as per the legal requirements. (b). Two subscribers to Dr. Ayariga’s nominations also subscribed for another presidential candidate.
This is in breach of Regulation 7(4) of CI 94.
“The implication is that the two subscribers are disqualified and therefore, Dr. Ayariga does not have the requisite number of subscribers under Regulation 7(2) (b) of CI 94. The details of the duplicate subscribers are as follows: Abaako Issifu (page 103) Voter ID number 2988006876 PS code: J110202; Abudu Ayuba (page 95), Voter ID number 6303005554 PS code: H200201.
“In addition, the signatures of both voters are different on the two nomination forms. This raises questions as to the legitimacy of those signatures. We will refer the matter of the possible forgeries of these signatures to the Ghana Police Service and the Attorney General for investigation and prosecution in line with the following sections of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29): Section 211: Perjury Section 248: making false declaration etc. for office or voting; Section 251: Deceiving a public officer Section 256: Corruption, Intimidation and impersonation in respect of election.”
Speaking after the EC’s announcements, the Founder and Presidential Candidate of the APC, Mr Ayariga told Accra-based Class FM, “Madam Charlotte Osei herself is not qualified to be an EC leader.”
“I am telling you she is not qualified to be an electoral commissioner. Somebody who has contested in an election in the past, you are telling me you don’t know his identity. Are you normal? And for that reason you disqualify that person? Does it make sense to you? That you tell me that Hassan Ayariga, you don’t know his identity? A livid Ayariga said.
Renowned for his comic comments in the country’s local politics, the APC leader said, “This is the joke of the century.”
Barely an hour after Hassan Ayariga made the statements, the General Secretary of the APC, Razak Opoku, announced on Adom News TV that the party was profoundly sorry for the provocative comments.
He said Mr. Ayariga could be forgiven because the party was shocked by the decision of the EC and in the heat of the moment, he attacked the EC Chair.
Mr. Ayariga was not the only presidential candidate who was disqualified.
Dr Edward Mahama of the People’s National Convention (PNC); Dr Agyenim Boateng of the United Front Party (UFP); Kofi Akpaloo of the Independent People’s Party (IPP); Kwabena Adjei of the Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD); and Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) were also disqualified.
Dr Henry Herbert Lartey, Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP); Mr Richard Nixon Tetteh, United Development Systems Party; Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, National Democratic Party (NDP); Thomas Ward-Brew, Democratic People’s Party (DPP); Alfred Kwame Asiedu Walker, an independent candidate; and Akua Donkor of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) all had their nomination papers rejected.