New Register: Explain Why Old Voter ID Isn’t Part Of Identification – Supreme Court to EC
The Supreme Court has directed the Electoral Commission (EC) to explain why the old voter ID card has been excluded from the list of identification particulars for the yet to be compiled new voters’ register.
The seven-member panel of judges asked the EC to provide legal reasons in the form of a supplementary statement of the case.
According to the Justices of the Supreme Court, this must be filed by Monday 8th of June 2020.
They made the order today, Thursday, June 4, 2020.
The seven-panel of judges are Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, Justices Jones Dotse, Paul Baffoe Bonnie, Sulley Gbadegbe, Samuel Marfo Sau, Nene Amegatse, Prof Ashie Kotey.
The lawyers in the case are Godwin Tamakloe for the NDC, Justin Amenuvor for the Electoral Commission and Godfred Dame representing the Attorney General.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) sued the Electoral Commission over attempts by the electoral management body to compile a new voters' register ahead of the 2020 general elections.
The NDC argues in its suit that the EC lacks the power to go ahead with its plans because it can only “compile a register of voters only once, and thereafter revise it periodically, as may be determined by law.”
According to the writ invoking the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, the opposition NDC among other things demanded for a “declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 45(a) of the 1992 Constitution, 2nd Defendant [the EC] has the constitutional power to, and can, compile a register of voters only once, and thereafter revise it periodically, as may be determined by law. Accordingly, 2nd Defendant can only revise the existing register of voters, and lacks the power to prepare a fresh register of voters, for the conduct of the December 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.”
The NDC in its case is also praying the court to declare as illegal the decision of the EC not to use the old voter ID cards as registration proof in the compilation of the new register.
The NDC claimed that the decision which is without any justification is arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable and contrary to article 296 of the 1992 Constitution.
“Upon a true and proper interpretation of the Constitution, specifically, Article 42, the EC's purported amendment of Regulation 1 sub-regulation 3 of the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2016 (C.I 91) through the Public Elections (Registration of Voters)(Amendment) Regulations, 2020 to exclude existing voter identification cards as proof of identification to enable a person apply for registration as a voter according to the NDC is “unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever”.