With the legal encumbrances occasioned by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) dragging the Electoral Commission (EC) to court, the electoral management body has presented the ground rules for the compilation of a new voters’ roll.
In a press release on the subject, the commission referred to the closure brought about by the Supreme Court judgement which dismissed unanimously the suit brought against it and asked all stakeholders to comply with Articles 42 and 45 of the 1992 Constitution and CI 126, Public Election (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Regulations,2020.
By the judgement, therefore, the proof of identification for the purpose of being registered as a voter as spelt out under CI 126 is the provision of a Ghanaian passport, a national identification card otherwise called Ghana Card issued by the National Identification Authority (NIA), adding “one voter registration identification guarantee form as set out in Form One of the Schedule, that has been completed and signed by two registered voters.”
A registered voter can guarantee the identity of a maximum of 10 persons, a departure from the previous five.
The commission stated in the release its belief in the rule of law and, therefore, respects the decision of the Supreme Court as it refers to the words of the apex court thus “the Electoral Commission in exercising its discretion in the discharge of its constitutional mandate in cleaning the Voters Register should be deemed as authorized to be acting within the law and the regulations therein, and cannot be faulted even if it is considered that there is a more efficient mode of method available.”
“All stakeholders, the commission demanded, should hold themselves in readiness for the commencement of the compilation of a new register scheduled for between Tuesday, the 30th of June, 2020 and the 6th of August, 2020,” it said.
Last Thursday’s judgement brought to a closure a long and often abrasive campaign by the opposition NDC against the compilation of a new voters’ roll. The party has argued that the compilation of a new voters’ roll could lead to the disenfranchisement of many Ghanaians.
Its decision to go to court cropped up late in its anti-compilation campaign. The party appeared to have exhausted the content of its arsenals towards having its way. Even non-party actors were engaged to carry the word of the party in sometimes sophisticated forms.
Regardless of the non-ambiguity of the judgement, the NDC scribe, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, was quick to present a varying interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling and confused so many Ghanaians until the truth popped up soon after he had muddied the waters.
The former President was quick to organize a press conference soon after the judgement, expressing expectedly his ‘disappointment’ over the decision of the apex court.
By A.R. Gomda