Supreme Court’s decision on new voters registration case ready
The Supreme Court’s (SC) full judgment, which unanimously gave the Electoral Commission (EC) the green light to commence compilation of a new Voters Register is ready.
A source at the Court’s Registry said parties in the case could pick up true certified copies by noon today.
Other interested persons could also apply for true certified copies at the Registry.
The National Democratic Congress and one Tekyi-Banson had in their writs, challenged the EC’s refusal to accept existing voters ID Cards and birth certificates as requirements for the compilation of a new voters roll.
On June 25, this year, the SC, presided over by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin- Yeboah gave the EC the go ahead to compile the new register in line with Constitutional Instrument (CI) 126 (2020).
The Constitutional Instrument 126 excludes the use of existing voters Identity Card and the use of birth certificates for the registration of new card.
This implies that one could only register with the Ghana Card, issued by the National Identification Authority (NIA), a passport or have two registered voters serving as guarantors for an applicant.
Other Justices on the SC panel are: Jones Dotse, Paul Baffoe Bonnie, Sule Gbadegbe, Samuel K. Marful-Sau, Nene A. Amegatcher and Prof. N. A. Kotey.
In the SC’s consequential orders, the Chief Justice said: “By this decision, the EC is hereby directed to commence the compilation of the Voter Registration Exercise as scheduled.
“By these decisions, and by virtue of Article 130 (2) of the Constitution, any court in which same or similar action is pending or yet to be filed shall apply the decision rendered by the Supreme Court in these consolidated suits.”
The Court, however, upheld two of the reliefs sought by the NDC and Mr Tekyi-Banson, but their implementation were be in line with C.I. 126.
The reliefs sought a declaration that upon the registration of and issuance of a voter identification card to a person, that person had an accrued right to vote, which could not be divested in an arbitrary and capricious manner; and that all identification cards duly issued by the EC to registered voters were valid for purposes of identifying such persons in the exercise of their right to vote. It, however, dismissed five of the reliefs.
The SC reiterated an earlier decision of the court in the Abu Ramadan and Nimako case where the court re-emphasized that the EC, in exercising its discretion in the discharge of the constitutional mandate in cleaning the Voters Register, “should be deemed as authorized to be acting within the law and the regulation therein, and cannot be faulted even if it is considered that there is more efficient mode or method available.”
Accordingly, the court held that the EC in performing its mandate under Article 45 of the Constitution could not be compelled to act in a particular manner unless “there is a clear evidence that they have acted unconstitutionally.”.
It, however, fixed July 15 to give its reasons on the June 25 decision of the court.
Mr. Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe represented the NDC whiles Mr. Cosmas Apengnuo, represented Banson.
Mr. Justine Amenuvor, represented the EC, with Mr. Godfred Yeboah Dame, Deputy Attorney General representing the Attorney-General.