EC suspends limited voters registration indefinitely

The Electoral Commission (EC) has indefinitely suspended the planned limited voters registration exercise which was scheduled to begin from Friday June 7. A statement from the EC Monday said the decision stemmed from a pending injunction application seeking to restrain the Commission from going ahead with the registration exercise. It said a new date will be announced shortly. “Any inconvenience caused is deeply regretted,” the statement added. The registration, which was to be completed on June 27, was being done for the upcoming local elections and the referendum scheduled for December 10. Suit One Umar Ayuba in May sued the EC at the Supreme Court over its decision to conduct the registration exercise only at the EC’s district offices and some selected electoral areas, claiming such a decision was without legal basis. Before hearing of the case, he filed an application for injunction to stop the EC from going ahead with the registration exercise. Ayuba is praying the Supreme Court to declare that upon a true and proper interpretation of articles 45 (a), 45(e) and 42 of the 1992 Constitution, EC’s decision to undertake the 2019 limited voter registration online at the district offices of the EC, instead of electoral areas, will result in voter suppression, as was evident from the same exercise carried out in 2018, particularly in rural constituencies of the country, and is thus unconstitutional, as it violates the right of first-time voters to register and vote. He wants a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 45(a) and (e) of the Constitution, the decision of the EC to undertake the 2019 limited voter registration online at its district offices, instead of electoral areas, is inconsistent with and in contravention of the mandate of the EC, as contained in Article 45 (a) and (e) of the 1992 Constitution and Regulation 2 Sub-regulation (2)(a) and (b) of the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2016 (CI 91). He is further asking for a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of articles 42, 45(a), 45 (e) and 17 of the 1992 Constitution, the EC’s decision on the registration is unwarranted and a disproportionate burden on first-time voters, especially in rural constituencies such as Daboya-Mankarigu. “The decision is thus discriminatory and a violation of the right of first-time rural voters to be granted equal opportunity to register to vote under articles 42 and 17 of the Constitution,” Ayuba stated in the suit. The Supreme Court, he said, should declare the decision of the EC as unreasonable and an arbitrary exercise of its discretionary power in relation to voter registration. Ayuba thus want the court to order the EC to undertake the 2019 limited voter registration exercise as prescribed by law in order to avoid altogether or minimise the suppression of votes, particularly in the rural constituencies of the country.

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By 3news.com|Ghana]]>