The Supreme Court has cleared the Electoral Commission (EC) to go ahead and compile a new voters’ register for the 2020 general elections.
The court, presided over by a seven-member panel in a ruling on Thursday, June 25, 2020, indicated that the election management body was independent and its action can only be guided by the court if it goes against the law.
“By this decision, the Electoral Commission i.e. 2nd Defendants in Suit No. J1/9/2020 and 1st Defendants in Suit No. J1/12/2020 are hereby directed to commence the compilation of the voter registration exercise as scheduled. By these decisions and, by virtue of Article 130 (2) of the Constitution any court in which same or similar action is pending or yet to be filed shall apply the decision rendered by the Supreme Court in these consolidated suits. Reasons will be filed on or before the 15th of July 2020,” the Supreme Court directed.
The court also ruled against the NDC’s quest to get the EC to accept the current voters’ ID card as proof of identification in the planned registration exercise.
The Supreme Court also halted all actions pending against the EC on the voter registration in any Court.
This affects the Ashaiman Member of Parliament, Ernest Norgbey, who filed an action at the High Court questioning the power of the EC to compile a new register.
“By these decisions and, by virtue of Article 130 (2) of the Constitution any court in which same or similar action is pending or yet to be filed shall apply the decision rendered by the Supreme Court in these consolidated suits,” the Supreme Court added in its ruling.
EC dragged to court
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) dragged the EC to court over a decision by the commission to exclude the existing voter ID card as proof of identity for the purposes of the planned new voter registration exercise.
A Ghanaian citizen, Mark Takyi-Banson also filed a fresh case, asking the Apex Court to make a pronouncement on the matter.
He argued that the Electoral Commission’s decision to compile a new roll of voters violates the 1992 Constitution.
Additionally, Mr. Takyi-Banson wanted the Court to rule against the EC for excluding birth certificates as proof of identity for voter registration.
The Supreme Court subsequently consolidated the two cases and delivered its ruling today.