Supreme Court orders elections rerun in six polling stations at Akwatia

ballot_parliamentaryThe Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the Electoral Commission (EC) to re-run elections in six polling stations in the Akwatia Constituency of the Eastern Region.

The court in a unanimous decision directed that the ruling of the Koforidua High Court, in respect of a writ of summons issued against the Electoral Commission and another on February 20 be quashed and struck out.

Six of the polling stations were saddled with irregularities while the remaining 89 polling stations recorded an incident-free vote.

During the 2008 general election, the Akwatia Constituency suffered a lot of incidents which compelled Mr Baba Jamal, the National Democratic Congress Parliamentary (NDC) candidate, to go to court to restrain the EC and Dr Kofi Asare of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) from conducting the vote in the six polling stations.

The Supreme Court noted that the forum by which Mr Jamal went was right but indicated that he should have filed a petition instead of commencing with a writ of summons.

According to the five-member panel the procedure adopted by Mr Jamal, was wrong saying, “That procedure meant to circumvent the constitution and that should not be allowed.”

Members of the panel include Mr Justice William Atugubah, Mr Justice Julius Ansah, Mrs Justice R. S. Owusu, Mr Justice Jones Victor Dotse and Mr Justice Paul Baffoe Bonney.

On December 22, the NDC parliamentary candidate filed a writ of summons restraining the EC from discontinuing with the electoral processes, in the Akwatia constituency.

Mr Jamal in his writ stated that the Parliamentary election held in the constituency was characterised by irregularities.

He therefore restrained the EC and Dr Asare’s agents, or assigns from conducting elections in the six polling stations.

Mr Jamal sought to restrain the defendants from declaring and gazetting results of the December 2008 in the constituency.

He also sought to restrain the defendant from declaring the parliamentary seats pending the determination of the suit.

This, the High court granted.

Dr Asare therefore filed an order of certiorari against the decision of the Koforidua High Court at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court in its ruling declared that the procedure adopted by Mr Jamal was wrong and that should not be tolerated under the constitution.

But the decision did not go gone well with sympathizers of Mr Jamal who expressed their disappointment by arguing on top of their voices in front of the Supreme Court premises.

Among those present at the Court were Mr Kwabena Adjei, National Chairman of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, NDC General Secretary, and Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku of the NPP.

Mr Peter Mac Manu, NPP Chairman, who spoke to the media after the court ruling said they were happy with the decision of the Supreme Court describing it as “victory for our democracy and rule of law”.

He said the NPP was going to commence its campaign to ensure that they won the seat.

Source: GNA

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