Supreme Court merges two cases on planned voter registration Exercise

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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is in court challenging the exclusion of the existing voter ID card as proof of identity for the purposes of the registration.

The Party had been seeking another relief, which is challenging the Electoral Commission’s (EC) decision to compile a new register, but it was forced to abandon that relief following a ruling by the court.

But a Ghanaian citizen, Mark Takyi-Banson, subsequent to the party’s abandonment of the relief filed a fresh case, asking the Apex Court to make a pronouncement on the matter.

He argued that the Electoral Commission’s decision to compile a new roll of voters violates the 1992 Constitution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally, Mr. Takyi-Banson wants the Court to rule against the EC for excluding birth certificates as proof of identity for voter registration.

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The Court has thus ordered lawyers for Mr. Takyi-Banson to file their statement of case before noon on Monday June 22, 2020.

The Attorney General’s Department, as well as lawyers for the NDC, are also to file their responses by Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

The Supreme Court slated Wednesday, June 24, 2020, for hearing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has adjourned until further notice Judgment on the NDC’s legal challenge to the exclusion of the existing voter ID Card as identity proof for the upcoming voter registration exercise.

The Court was scheduled to give Judgment on Tuesday, 23rd June 2020 following the submission of legal arguments by all parties involved.

But the Court reconsidered the schedule after consolidating the NDC’s case with a fresh writ on Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EC gets parliamentary approval

On June 9, Parliament voted to allow the EC to use the Ghana Card and Passports as only forms of identification for persons registering to vote after relevant Constitutional Instrument had matured.

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The EC presented the Public Election (Amendment) Regulation, 2020 (C.I. 126) to Parliament to amend C.I. 91 in order to change the current identification requirements.

But the NDC feels this amendment will lead to many Ghanaians being disenfranchised.

 

 

 

 

 

EC’s justification

The Electoral Commission subsequently submitted its legal justification for the amendment and described the old voter ID as “a fruit from a poisoned tree” and a breach of Article 42 of the constitution, which defines who is qualified to register to vote.

The EC cited the court’s judgement in the Abu Ramadan case, where it indicated that the use of the National Health Insurance Card to register a voter is inconsistent with Article 42 of the constitution and therefore void.

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