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The Volta Region Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC) has filed a suit at the Human Rights Division of the High Court, seeking an interlocutory injunction against the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) and the Attorney General in compiling a new voter register with only a Ghana Card or national passport as basic required documents.
Filed on Friday, June 5, the suit by Cecil-Rhodes Dogbe wants the Court to enjoin the Commission to include the existing voter ID card, birth certificate as well as all other legally acquired documents as part of required documents for the forthcoming registration.
The Commission through the Attorney General’s Department has laid before Parliament a constitutional instrument (CI) seeking to amend the existing CI 91 to accept only the Ghana Card, a Ghanaian passport or a registration identification guarantee form signed by two guarantors for the new registration, scheduled to start in the last week of June, as announced by the EC.
Already, a pilot exercise has been conducted across all regional capitals with the EC expressing satisfaction with the outcome. A total of 1,990 applicants were registered.
But in his statement of case, Mr Dogbe said his fundamental human rights will be infringed upon if all legally acquired documents proving his nationality as a Ghanaian are excluded for the new registration.
“The attempt by the [EC] to exclude all existing voter identification cards, birth certificate as well as all other legally acquired documents from being used as proof of citizenship for future registration purposes amounts to an invalidation of these cards,” he stated.
“Such an act of invalidation is without any legal basis more so when those cards were acquired in accordance with Article 42, CI 91 and other existing laws.”
He stated further that the EC’s decision “is likely to contravene in relation to him, his accrued rights as well as the right to vote as guaranteed by the constitution”.
The Court is expected to move for hearing on the case on Friday, June 19.
A copy of the suit has been served the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament, which has since approved the new CI and awaiting the required statutory period of maturity.
Mr Dogbe indicated that no amount of damages would compensate him even if by the end of trial judgement goes in his favour.
He, therefore, wants the High Court to stop the EC and AG forthwith.
“My Lord, no damage could be adequate enough to compensate an Applicant, whose constitutional right has been breached in the glaring face of unambiguous constitutional provision and established convention in the exercise of guaranteed rights.
“For the vote of any citizen is the only power to contribute to national discourse and ultimately determine the development path of the country. A denial to such a right can be likened to denying a mother of her child after labour on the basis that the child has no resemblance with her, for this analogy is as absurd as the actions the [EC] complained of.”