Twenty-two candidates have so far picked nomination forms from the Electoral Commission (EC) to contest the 2016 presidential election.
In an interview in Accra yesterday, the Director of Elections of the EC, Mr Samuel Tetteh, said as of yesterday, seven independent candidates and 15 political parties had picked forms to contest the election.
The political parties include the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), the National Democratic Party (NDP), the United Development System Party (UDSP), the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the United Love Party (ULP).
Others are the Independent People’s Party (IPP), the United Progressive Party (UPP), the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), the United Front Party (UFP), Democratic People’s Party (DPP), All People’s Congress (APC), Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) and Reform Patriotic Democrats (RPD).
The independent candidates are Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah, Mr Kwaku Antwi Owusu, Mr Lawrence Yamil Nketia, Mr Kwame Asiedu Walker, Chief Dr Yaw Kumi, John Alex Hamah and Major Ibrahim Rida (retd).
In 2012, six independent candidates picked nomination forms to contest the presidential election, but only Mr Joseph Osei Yeboah returned his forms.
Mr Tetteh said the picking of forms by the candidates was progressing smoothly and that the EC was still expecting some political parties such as the Convention People’s Party (CPP) to pick nomination forms.
The EC started giving out nomination forms to interested political parties and candidates who wished to contest in the election from Tuesday, September 13, 2016.
Presidential candidates are to pay a filing fee of GH¢50,000, while parliamentary candidates will pay GH¢10,000.
Meanwhile, nomination forms for parliamentary aspirants have been sent to the various districts across the country.
In the 2012 election, Mr Kwaku Antwi Owusu was nominated to contest on the ticket of the United Front Party (UFP) but his late submission of the nomination forms denied him the opportunity to contest the election
Partisan politics not good for Ghana
Speaking to the Daily Graphic after picking his forms, Mr Owusu said the partisan nature of politics in the country had impeded accelerated socio-economic development.
“The partisan nature of politics in recent times is not good for our development, so I want to contest as an independent candidate to bring down tension in the country and I am certain that I will win.
“Because of the nature of politics, parties whip our elected presidents into line, so they don’t have the courage to initiate policies and programmes that accelerate socio-economic development,” he explained.
Apart from Members of Parliament from the various political parties, he said, chiefs, the Clergy and individuals who had distinguished themselves in the country would be selected to be part of his government.
According to Mr Antwi, he had done sufficient underground works before picking his nomination forms and was, therefore, certain to receive the nod of Ghanaians to be elected as the next president of the country.