The Electoral Commission (EC) has rejected the black, red, white and green colours presented for registration by the yet to be certified National Democratic Party (NDP), saying it violates the Political Parties Act 574.
The Party has been accordingly advised to work on its colours to conform with section 10 of the Act, which states that “…No prospective political party shall submit to the Commission for the purpose of registration under this Act any identifying symbol, slogan, colour or name which is the same as the symbol, slogan, colour or name of any other registered political party; or of the Republic; or which so closely resembles the symbol, slogan, colour or name of a registered political party or the Republic as to be likely to deceive or confuse members of the public.”
The official colours of the ruling National Democratic Congress are black, red, white and green.
Mr Kwadwo Safo Kantanka, EC Deputy Chairman in Charge of Operations who made these known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra at the weekend, said the Commission had set in motion a mechanism to scrutinize the documents presented for registration as a political party by the NDP.
He said “In accordance with the Political Parties Act (574) EC is mandated to issue not later than seven days after receipt of the application to the political party, a provisional certificate of registration.
The Commission would then cause a notice of the application to be published in the Gazette inviting objections from any person, concerning the name, aim, objects, constitution, rules, symbols, slogans and colours of the party”.
Mr Kantanka said according to the Political Parties law, the Commission may in addition to inviting objections to the application cause independent inquiries to be made so as to ascertain the truth or correctness of the particulars submitted with the application for registration.
On expiration of the 30 days after the date of the publication of the Gazette notice, the Commission shall, if satisfied that the relevant provisions on registration have been complied with register the political party, the Deputy Chairman said.
“Where within the 30-day period an objection has been brought to the notice of the Commission, it shall not register the political party until the objection has been disposed of to the satisfaction of the Commission.
“Where the Commission upholds the objection or if enquiries made disclose that any of the particulars submitted with the application for registration are false, the Commission may refuse to register the party and cancel the provisional certificate issued to that party,” he said.
He explained that issues to consider include ethnic, gender, religious, regional, professional or other sectional divisions, and said the EC would also examine whether NDP’s slogans or symbols could arouse ethnic, gender, religious, regional, professional or other sectional divisions.
On the qualification of founding and executive members as the law, the EC Deputy Chairman said: “A political party shall not have as a founding member, a leader or a member of its executive, a person who is not qualified to be elected as a member of Parliament … Or is not qualified to hold any public office”.
He further explained that an application to register a political party shall be made to the Commission and shall be accompanied with a copy of the constitution and the rules or regulations, if any, of the political party duly signed by the interim national chairman or leader and by the interim national or general secretary of the party.
He said the party should have on its national executive committee one member from each region; should have branches in all the regions and should, in addition, be organised in not less than two-thirds of the districts in each region.
“There should be in each district at least one founding member of the party who is ordinarily resident in the district or is a registered voter in the district;” he said, adding that the party’s name, emblem, colour, motto or any other symbol should have no ethnic, gender, regional, religious or other sectional connotation or give the appearance that its activities are confined only to a part of the country.
“The Commission shall not register a political party under this Act unless the internal organisation of the party conforms with democratic principles and its actions and purposes are not contrary to or inconsistent with the Constitution”, the EC official declared.