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NDC drags AG, EC to Supreme Court over new voters register

Mon, 25 May 2020 Source: 3 News

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has dragged the Electoral Commission (EC) to the Supreme Court over the compilation of a new voters register.

The NDC is praying the court for an order directed at the EC, to include “all existing voter identification cards duly issued by the 2nd Defendant (EC) as one of the documents serving as proof of identification for registration as a voter for the purposes of public elections”.

In a writ invoking the original jurisdiction of the court, the NDC is seeking a true and proper interpretation of Article 45(a) of the 1992 Constitution, on whether the EC has “the constitutional power to, and can, compile a register of voters only once, and thereafter revise it periodically, as may be determined by law”.

It is also further seeking a declaration on whether the EC “can only revise the existing register of voters, and lacks the power to prepare a fresh register of voters, for the conduct of the December 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections”.

The NDC holds that “declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution, specifically article 51 read conjointly with article 42 of the Constitution, the power of the EC to compile and review the voters’ register must be exercised subject to respect for and the protection of the right to vote”.

It is also seeking a “declaration that, upon a true and proper interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution, particularly article 42, upon the registration of and issuance of a voter identification card to a person, that person has an accrued right to vote which cannot be divested in an arbitrary and capricious manner”.

A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution, particularly Article 42 of the Constitution, all existing voter identification cards duly issued by the 2nd Defendant to registered voters are valid for purposes of identifying such persons in the exercise of their right to vote.

The plaintiff is further seeking a “declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the Constitution, specifically Article 42, the 2nd Defendant’s purported amendment of Regulation 1 sub regulation 3 of the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2016 (C.I 91) through the Public Elections (Registration of Voters)(Amendment) Regulations, 2020 to exclude existing voter identification cards as proof of identification to enable a person apply for registration as a voter is unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

“A declaration that the 2nd Defendant (EC), in purporting to exercise its powers pursuant to article 51 of the 1992 Constitution to exclude the existing voter identification cards from the documents required as proof of identification to enable a person register as a voter without any justification is arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable and contrary to article 296 of the 1992 Constitution;

“A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of the Constitution specifically Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, proof of identification for registration as a voter should not be limited by the provisions of Public Elections (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020;”

It also “order or orders as this Honorable Court would deem fit in the circumstances”.

The Attorney General and the EC have 14 days to file their response.

Source: 3 News

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