Rawlings' wife disqualified from Ghana presidential polls

The wife of Ghana's ex-leader Jerry Rawlings, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, was on Thursday disqualified from running in presidential polls over problems with her nomination forms, an official said.

Candidates had until Thursday to submit nomination papers, but Ghana's electoral commission said Rawlings' forms were not properly completed.

"Portions of the nomination forms were not properly filled by the National Democratic Party and the electoral commission's deadline for filling nominations has passed today," Sylvia Annor, electoral commission spokeswoman, told AFP.

"There were major errors on their forms and they could not meet the deadline to rectify them hence the disqualification."

There was no immediate reaction from Rawlings or her National Democratic Party.

Rawlings was nominated as a presidential candidate by the upstart political party on Saturday, highlighting divisions in President John Dramani Mahama's ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) ahead of December polls.

She had sought to run on the NDC party ticket, but was trounced in a 2011 primary battle by John Atta Mills, Ghana's then-president who died in July following an illness.

After being beaten by Mills, she helped launch the rival National Democratic Party and had been flirting for months with a presidential run, while maintaining ties to the NDC.

Her husband, a national icon who founded the NDC and has led Ghana both as a military ruler and an elected president, has sent mixed messages about his allegiances as regards the December vote.

The polls are widely expected to be close and experts have said the NDC may struggle to retain power if Rawlings throws his influence behind another candidate.

The main opposition candidate in the race is Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party.

Ghana, a country of more than 20 million, has been seen in recent years as a rare example of stable democracy in West Africa. It began significant oil production in 2010 and is also a major producer of gold and cocoa.

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