The Electoral Commission (EC) has explained why it chose a symbol (logo) for one of the two independent candidates in the Kumawu By-election in the Ashanti Region.
The Commission says it did not approve the notice of poll in which the two independent candidates had the same name, attire and symbol [bird] for the said election.
According to the Commission, the two independent candidates bearing the same names, Kwaku Duah, presented photographs of themselves in Kente and a picture of a bird as their symbol to the Commission’s District Officer in Kumawu.
“Based on this, a draft Notice of Poll, bearing the photograph of the Independent Candidates with similar names, attires and symbols was prepared and submitted to the Commission for approval.
“It was neither approved by the Commission nor gazetted. A Notice of Poll becomes legal and binding only after it is gazetted. The version circulating on social media was never gazetted. It was a mere draft reflecting the photographs and symbols presented to the District Officer,” EC said in a statement dated May 21, 2023.
The EC further explained that “When this anomaly came to the notice of the Commission, the second Independent Candidate was advised to change his symbol since he was the last to submit his Nomination Form.”
According to the EC, when the second independent candidate was asked to change his symbol, he refused, compelling the EC to apply Regulation 14(1) (b) and (c) of the Public Elections Regulations, 2020, C.I. 127 which allows the EC to use its own discretion to choose a symbol for a candidate in such a situation.
The Kumawu By-election is set for Tuesday, May 23.
The By-election follows the death of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) Philip Basoah who was buried on Saturday.