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EC sued over limited voter registration

Thu, 30 May 2019 Source: Starr FM

The Electoral Commission has been sued to halt the limited voter registration exercise beginning next week.

The applicant Umar Ayuba is praying the Supreme Court to place an injunction on the exercise following a substantive suit filed by the same plaintiff challenging the decision by the EC to hold the registration in its district offices and some selected electoral areas.

Ayuba contends that the EC’s move, expected to begin June 7, is unconstitutional.

Reliefs

The plaintiff is invoking the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, is seeking a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of articles 45 (a), 45(e) and 42 of the 1992 Constitution, the decision of the EC to undertake the 2019 limited voter registration online at the district offices of the EC, instead of undertaking same on the basis 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 is also seeking another 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 undertaking same on the basis 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).

The plaintiff wants the court to declare that upon a true and proper interpretation of articles 42, 45(a), 45 (e) and 17 of the 1992 Constitution, the decision of the EC to undertake the 2019 limited voter registration online at its district offices, instead of places designated by law, 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,” the relief is seeking the court to declare.

He further wants the apex court to hold that the EC’s decision is unreasonable and an arbitrary exercise of its discretionary power in relation to voter registration.

The plaintiff wants the court to order the EC to undertake the 2019 limited voter registration exercise in the manner prescribed by law in order to avoid altogether or minimise the suppression of votes, particularly in the rural constituencies of the country.

Ayuba is also praying the court to order the EC and its agents to desist from destroying any and all documents and records relating to the 2018 limited voter registration exercise the EC conducted until the final determination of this suit.

Source: Starr FM

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