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Lawyer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Abraham Amaliba has described the ruling by the Supreme Court of Ghana in the suit by the NDC against the Electoral Commission (EC) on the voters registers as a travesty of justice.
Mr Amaliba told Alfred Ocansey on the 3FM 92.7 Friday, June 26 that the apex court missed the opportunity to protect the democracy of Ghana by failing to compel to the EC to include the current voters ID as a means of identification in the impending registration exercise.
The Supreme Court decided on Thursday June 26 that the current voter ID card cannot be used by the Electoral Commission to compile a new register of voters.
The court said, “it is hereby ordered that all stakeholders and the Ghanaian eligible voters are directed to comply with Articles 42 and 45 of the Constitution”, as far as carrying out their constitutional mandate in the compilation of a new register of voters is concerned.
Per Article 42, “Every citizen of Ghana of 18 years of age or above and of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda.”
Article 45 defines the EC’s mandate as follows:
“The Electoral Commission shall have the following functions:
(a) to compile the register of voters and revise it at such periods as may be determined by law;
(b) to demarcate the electoral boundaries for national and local government elections; (c) to conduct and supervise all public elections and referenda;
(d) to educate the people on the electoral process and its purpose;
(e) to undertake programmes for the expansion of the registration of voters; and
(f) to perform such other functions as may be prescribed by law”.
Thus, the court rejected the prayer by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and private citizen Mark Takyi-Banson who sued the EC, for the court to compel the election management body to include the existing voters ID card as a breeder document for the compilation of a new voter roll.
An obviously disappointed Abraham Amaliba told Ocansey, “this was a weak decision which seeks to disenfranchise the majority of Ghanaians who don’t ether have birth certificates, and they don’t have passport or the Ghana Card.
“This is a travesty of justice. One would have expected the Supreme Court in making their decision to have taken into consideration the knowledge of our rural areas.
“You are talking of a passport in my village, in my village talking about passports is far-fetched. We also know the challenges that have bedeviled the current registration of the NIA card.
“I will say that it was a bad day, it was a sad day for democracy in Ghana”, Mr. Amaliba said.
By Mounkaila Razak|3news.com|Ghana