The Electoral Commission (EC) has called off polls, following an injunction placed on it by an Accra Human Rights Court, over the holding of by-elections in Wulensi and Kwabre West constituencies in the Northern and Ashanti regions, respectively.
In a press release signed by K. Sarfo Kantanka, the deputy chairman of EC, the commission has called on all political parties, candidates and voters in the affected constituencies to halt any preparations in relation to these by-elections.
'In view of the ruling by the High Court in the case of Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, Asiedu Nketia and Ivor Greenstreet versus the Electoral Commission that the Commission cannot hold any elections using a register compiled under the repealed Public Elections (Registration of Voters Regulations) 1995 CI.12 and the fact that the Biometric Voters Register currently being compiled will not be ready for the aforementioned by-elections, the Commission has called off both by-elections.
'All political parties, candidates and voters in the affected constituencies are to take note and halt any preparations in relation to these by-elections,' the statement said.
Four political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Convention People's Party (CPP) and People's National Convention (PNC) had dragged the EC to court over the register to be used for the by-elections.
The four parties sought for an injunction against the EC on grounds that there was no substantive voters register to successfully conduct the elections in the two constituencies.
The High Court, presided over by Essel Mensah, yesterday, ruled that the commission could not hold any elections using a register compiled under the repealed Public Elections (Registration of Voters Regulations) 1995 CI.12 and the fact that the Biometric Voters Register was being compiled, meant it would not be ready for the by-elections to take place.
The EC had slated the Wulensi and Kwabre by-elections to be held on July 31, 2012 and August 14, respectively.
The by-elections were to constitutionally replace Alhaji Sani Iddi and Emmanuel Owusu Ansah, MPs for Wulensi and Kwabre West respectively, who had died within a space of one month.
The parties had argued that there was no valid voters register for the EC to go ahead with their decision since that would result in illegality.
The four parties contended that Constitutional Instrument 72, effectively repealed CI 12 and as a result, the EC could not rely on the old voters register to organize the elections.
Justice Mensah agreed with the parties and therefore ruled in their favour.
None of the plaintiffs was in court except their lawyers.
By Mary Anane