Dr Kwame Amoako-Tuffour, a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has asked Ghanaians to be extra vigilant during the special voting and the general polls slated for December 1 and 7 respectively.
“Under no circumstance should anyone and all party members play with this Special Voting. We must protect the forthcoming elections so that we do not run into misfortunes,” Dr Amoako-Tuffuor told journalists in Accra.
He spoke to Journalists soon after the Supreme Court had dismissed a writ he filed with two others seeking to compel the Electoral Commission to declare results of the Special Voting immediately after the Polls on December 1.
In the suit, Dr Amoako-Tuffuor with Benjamin Arthur and Adreba Abrefa Damoah argued that those who would take part in the Special Voting must not be made to wait until the Election Day before the results of the early voting were announced.
Speaking on the dismissal of the writ by the Supreme Court, Dr Amoako-Tuffour said he would not seek a review of the decision but would hold discussions with his lawyers.
“I respect the decision of the court. I may have different opinions altogether because of the other issues that I am aware,” he said.
Dr Amoako-Tuffuor asked Ghanaians to support the courts to dispense justice to move the country’s democracy forward.
The Supreme Court on Monday declared that the EC cannot declare the results of the Special Voting to be cast on December 1, immediately after the polls.
The SC explained that: “If the results of the Special Voting were declared on December 1, ahead of the general poll on December 7, the sanctity and secrecy surrounding the elections would gravely be prejudiced, and as well prejudice the electoral fairness”.
The Supreme Court, therefore, dismissed the writs filed by Dr Amoako-Tuffuor to compel the EC to declare the results of the Special Voting on the same day such votes are cast.
The Supreme Court said the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs were inconsistent with the 1992 Constitution. “The Court cannot grant reliefs that run contrary to the provisions of the Constitution”.
In the suit, Dr Amoako-Tuffuor and two other plaintiffs, argued that those who would take part in the Special Voting must not be made to wait until the Election Day before the results of the early voting were announced.
However, according to the apex Court, if the results of the Special Voting were declared before the general election on December 7, the results would influence the general poll and “the integrity of the national elections would be compromised”.
The Supreme Court also stated that the plaintiffs had not been able to cite any country, which declared its results of Special Voting on the same day it was cast.
The Court said it was imperative for EC to strike a balance between electoral provisions and electoral rights.
The Court also explained that ballot boxes of the special voting were kept at sacred and secured places, and ballot boxes protected with EC and other political parties seal.
The plaintiffs argued that under Section 23 of C.I. 94 – the law that regulates national elections – was at variance with Article 49 of the 1992 Constitution.
Security personnel, electoral officials, journalists, and people who will be working on Election Day are those who normally take part in the Special Voting.
On October 27, 2016, Dr Amoako-Tuffuor and the two others filed a suit seeking that those who wanted to take part in the special voting should not be made to wait until the total results on actual polling were declared and that the results should be declared immediately after the polls closed.
They argued that section 23 of C.I. 94; the law which regulated the conduct of the Polls, was inconsistent with Article 49 of the 1992 constitution.
According to them per the C.I. 94, the Returning Officer shall at the end of the special voting: ensure that the ballot boxes used in the special election were kept in safe custody after the poll had closed.
Also, the Officer was to ensure that the ballot boxes were sealed with the seals of the EC and any candidates or party who wished to add their seal.
The EC also arranged for the ballot boxes to be opened at the time of the counting of the votes cast on the polling day and the ballot papers counted in the same manner as those contained in the ballot boxes used on the main polling day.
The plaintiffs were thus seeking a true and proper interpretation of Article 49 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1992, as against special voting’ in CI.94.
The plaintiffs were also seeking a true and proper interpretation of Article 49 of the Constitution “and Section 13 of the Representation of the People Law, 1992? PNDCL 284.”
The Plaintiffs said that presidential and parliamentary elections ought to be counted and announced there and then on the date(s) of the special voting by the Presiding Officers and the results at each polling station before communicating same to the Returning Officer.
In addition, they were seeking an order striking down Regulation 23(11) of Public Elections Regulations, 2016? CI.94 as being inconsistent with Article 49(2), (3)(a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1992 and Section 13 of the Representation of the People Law, 1992? PNDCL 284.
The Apex Court, however, dismissed the suit.