The All Peoples Congress (APC) became the 26th recognised registered political party in the country, following the receipt of its final certificate from the Electoral Commission (EC) at a ceremony in Accra yesterday.
The ceremony was exciting as truckloads of party supporters in party T-shirts and holding brooms, the party’s logo, besieged the EC headquarters.
The jubilant supporters shouted party slogans such as ‘nkabom’ and ‘biakoye’, meaning unity.
Those who accompanied the leader and founder member of the party, Dr Hassan Ayariga, to receive the final certificate of registration were his wife, Mrs Anita Ayariga, and some party executives.
The executives included a former People’s National Convention (PNC) Executive Member, Mr David Nibi, who is now acting as the National Chairman of the APC.
All the supporters were denied entry to the EC compound and the security personnel there had a tough time controlling the human and vehicular traffic on the road in front of the EC headquarters.
Political parties law
Presenting the certificate, the Deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of Operations, Mr Amadu Sulley, warned that the EC would start cracking the whip on political parties which did not abide by the provisions of the Political Parties Law (Act 574).
He said the Act enjoined political parties to open offices in at least two-thirds of the districts in the country.
Mr Sulley stressed that the law also required that political parties submit audited accounts to the EC after every general election.
He described political parties and the media as critical stakeholders in the electoral process and stressed that moribund political parties which did not provide at least 144 offices across the country and had not submitted their audited accounts to the EC before the extended time of May ending, would have their certificates withdrawn.
Mr Sulley said the law also enjoined political parties that participate in by-elections to submit the details of their expenditure on their candidates to the EC to avoid the withdrawal of their certificates.
He said decisions taken at Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) ) meetings that would enhance transparency would be taken seriously by the EC.
He also cautioned political parties not to give any political slant to such decisions since that did not augur well for the electoral process
In his remarks, Mr Ayariga appealed to the EC to crack the whip on moribund political parties to ensure that a level terrain was created for all to contest the 2016 elections.
He stressed that the ability of the APC to fulfil all the requirements of the Political Parties Law within a record time was unprecedented in the political annals of the country.
He explained that the party’s capability to open more than 150 district offices,10 regional offices and a national headquarters in Accra attested to its zeal and preparedness to take up the mantle of political leadership.