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NDC walks out on case challenging EC’s decision to conduct registration exercise

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has abandoned its legal case seeking to stop the Electoral Commission (EC) from going ahead with the voter registration exercise.

The NDC’s suit at the Supreme Court is based on two premises – first, that the attempt by the EC to compile a new registration exercise was unconstitutional and second that the decision of the EC to exclude an existing voter ID as a form of identification for the exercise was also unconstitutional.

However, at Thursday morning’s hearing, lawyer for the NDC, Mr Godwin Tameklo, abandoned the first leg which had to do with the constitutionality of the EC’s decision to conduct that exercise.

That was after the court told counsel that per the rules of court, a party cannot be seeking a relief and also asked to be granted another relief in the alternative.

Counsel took a cue from the bench and abandoned the relief that had to do with the EC’s decision to conduct the registration exercise.

The NDC in March, this year, invoked the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to interpret the constitution with a case that it was unconstitutional for the EC to reject an existing voters ID as a prerequisite for the upcoming voter registration exercise.

It is the contention of the NDC that it is unconstitutional for the EC to reject an existing voter ID as it will disenfranchise many Ghanaians which is a violation of Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution.

The NDC further argues that per Article 45 of the 1992 Constitution the EC can only compile a voter registration once and periodically revise it.

Judgment on June 23

The Supreme Court will on June 23, this year deliver a judgment on whether or not the EC is obliged by law to accept an existing voters’ card as a form of identification for the upcoming mass registration exercise.

A seven-member panel of the court, presided over by the Chief Justice, fixed the date Thursday morning during a hearing of a suit by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) challenging the EC’s decision to exclude an existing voters’ ID as a prerequisite for the registration exercise.

Dozens of police personnel massed up at the Supreme Court complex Thursday morning to provide security and avert any possible confrontations that might take place during the hearing of the case between the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Electoral Commission (EC) on the voters’ register.

Led by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mr Kwasi Ofori, the Director of Operations at the Accra Regional Police Command, the officers have taken post at all entrances to the court complex as well entrances to the courtroom itself.

Leading members of the NDC such as Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu, a former Attorney-General, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, another former A-G, and Barbara Serwaah Asamoah, a Deputy General Secretary is the NDC are in the courtroom.

Also present in the courtroom is Mr Samuel Tettey, a Deputy Chairperson of the EC in charge of Operations.

Suit

The NDC has invoked the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to interpret the constitution with a case that it was unconstitutional for the EC to reject an existing voters ID as a prerequisite for the upcoming voter registration exercise.

It is the contention of the NDC that it is unconstitutional for the EC to reject an existing voter ID as it will disenfranchise many Ghanaians which is a violation of Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution.

The NDC further argues that per Article 45 of the 1992 Constitution the EC can only compile a voter registration once and periodically revise it.

A seven member-panel of the Supreme Court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah will determine the suit.

Other Justices on the panel are Jones Dotse, Paul Baffoe Bonnie, Sule Gbadegbe, Samuel K Marful-Sau, Nene Amegatcher, and Professor Ashie Kotey.

 

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