Private legal practitioner, Yaw Oppong has said the Supreme Court’s ruling that unanimously held that a birth certificate cannot be used as a form of identification for registering to vote did not come as a surprise.
The lawyer argued that it was after the Constitutional Instrument had been established in the last registration exercise that the Electoral Commission (EC) “in their own initiative” found it necessary to add birth certificates as a form of identification.
Mr. Oppong held that the EC took that decision despite its questionable legal grounding.
“There should not be any surprise. The birth certificate in a few times we have had to do voter registration ID cards has not legally been one of the grounds or legal instruments by which you can be registered to vote,” he said on the Citi Breakfast Show.
A private citizen, Mark Takyi-Banson, had filed a suit making a case for the inclusion of birth certificate as a form of identification ahead of the ongoing compilation of a new voter register.
The Apex court in delivering its judgment on June 25 together with the case filed by the opposition NDC, insisted that voter ID card and birth certificates cannot be used as proof of identity to register in the upcoming voter registration exercise
The Lawyer said Mark Takyi Benson and the NDC’s decision to head to court over the compilation of a new register “brought some form of clarity.”
“I think first of all if anything has come out of it, it is the tenacity and the goodwill of the people who took the case to the court in the first place. We need to commend them. We will still be here, now still talking about whether we should use the existing ID cards or birth certificate if they had not gone to court.”
The suit challenging the compilation of the voter's register was dismissed by a seven-member panel of the Apex Court on June 25 but the full judgment of the Court was released on Wednesday [July 15, 2020].