The National Democratic Congress says it is disappointed in the Supreme Court decision blocking the use of birth certificate and the current voter ID as proof of nationality in the upcoming voters’ registration exercise across the country.
Leader of the party, John Mahama, at a news conference Thursday said the party strongly disagrees with position taken by the apex court, which he said, has created confusion in the minds of even legal experts.
“We are deeply disappointed and strongly disagreed with the courts over this outcome,” Mr Mahama stated, adding it has “indeed thrown the whole country into a state of confusion”.
The former President said the party’s legal team is meanwhile “examining this decision” by the court, but will await the full reasons for this judgment, which the court has set July 15 to give.
Attempt by the EC to undertake a new registration exercise towards a new register was challenged at the Supreme Court by the National Democratic Congress and one Mark Tekyi-Benson.
They wanted the court to order the EC to accept the current voter ID card and birth certificates as proof of citizenship in the registration exercise; a relief the Supreme Court rejected in its decision on Thursday, June 25.
Per the decision, only persons with a Ghanaian passport or a Ghana Card issued by the National Identification Card can be registered to vote. Persons without any of the two documents can also get two registered voters to guarantee for them.
“Despite the well-reasoned relief we sought, the apex court of our land has given a leeway for the electoral Commission to go ahead with the exclusion of the existing voters’ identification card from the list of identification requirement for registration for the register,” Mahama said Thursday.
He accused the Akufo-Addo government of manipulating the electoral process to its advantage.
Mr Mahama described the development as a systemic attempt to disenfranchise eligible persons from getting their names into the register to vote in the upcoming elections.
In the view of Mr Mahama, the decision to compile a new voters’ register is an agenda of the NPP government to disenfranchise millions of Ghanaians, claiming it is on that basis that proof of nationality has been restricted to “documents which are not accessible currently to millions of eligible voters”.
The government, he said, “sees its very political survival only through the prism of manipulation of the electoral process to exclude a section of Ghanaians who they suspect may not renew their mandate at the polls”.
He said it is regrettable that the EC which should be independent “has today made itself a willing tool in the execution of this most diabolic agenda”.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana