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The Accra High Court, Tuesday dismissed an application filed by Dr Zanetor Agyeman Rawlings that sought to throw out a suit that is challenging her eligibility as the 2016 National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate for the Klottey Korle Constituency.
In dismissing the motion, the court described it as unmeritorious and a clear abuse of the court process.
The court, presided over by Mr Justice Kweku Ackaah Boafo, also slapped the applicant with a GH¢2500 cost.
This is the second time the court has dismissed an application by Dr Rawlings for the case to be thrown out.
The legal team of Dr Rawlings had argued that the High Court had no jurisdiction to hear the case because electoral matters were under the mandate of the Supreme Court.
The court, however, held a different opinion, pointing out that the suit was not in the realm of an election petition and, therefore, it was within its jurisdiction to hear it.
“This is not an election petition because it is not about irregularities in the elections but rather the defendant’s eligibility in contesting the elections,’’ the court asserted.
Dr Rawlings also stated in her application that the suit against her was premature because she had only expressed her intentions to contest the forthcoming elections and she was therefore, not yet a candidate until the Electoral Commission opened nominations for the registration of candidates.
But the court disagreed, stating that Dr Rawlings was indeed the parliamentary candidate of the NDC per the election that selected her.
“Indeed was the election that was conducted by the first defendant (NDC) and which the 2nd defendant (Zanetor) confirmed in her statement of defence that she won meaningless and of no effect? The answer is no because until any court of law set that election aside, she remains the validly elected candidate of Klottey Korle on the ticket of the first defendant (NDC),” the judge declared.
The plaintiff in the case, Nii Armah Ashitey, the incumbent Member of Parliament for the constituency, later withdrew an application for an injunction to be placed on Dr Rawlings to stop her from holding herself as the NDC parliamentary candidate for the constituency.
The case was adjourned to April 4, 2016.
The case attracted many supporters of the NDC, who were clad in the party colours.
Speaking after the ruling, Nii Ashitey described it as a victory for the truth, pointing out that he was optimistic that the court would finally come to a conclusion that Dr Zanetor was not eligible to contest the primaries.
Dr Rawlings on the other hand said she would continue to advocate the development of the constituency even as the case was still being determined by the court.