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Supreme Court orders EC to provide legal grounds for refusal to accept Voters ID

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The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Electoral Commission (EC) to provide the legal grounds for refusing to accept the existing Voters Identity Cards as part of requirements for compilation of the new Voters Register.

The Supreme Court said the EC should file those detailed grounds by June 8.

The seven-member panel, presided over by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah, further directed the Attorney General and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to file additional issues if any, on the point of law by June 8.

The suit, filed by the NDC challenging the compilation of the new Voter Register, has been adjourned to June 11.

Justice Jones Dotse said the panel had looked at the processes and the Chief Justice had directed the EC to file supplementary statement explaining why the existing voters’ card could not be used in compiling the new register.

Justice Sule Gbadegbe indicated that on June 11 the panel would look at the merit of the matter as well as listen to the various legal objection raised in respect of the suit.

Mr Godwin Tamakloe, Counsel for the NDC, said on May 30, this year, a memo of legal issues was jointly filed at the court.

The NDC is invoking the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution with a case that it was unconstitutional for the EC to reject an existing voters ID as a prerequisite for the upcoming voter registration exercise.

The NDC further contended that it was unconstitutional for the EC to reject an existing voter ID as it would disenfranchise many Ghanaians, which was a violation of Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution.

It argued that per Article 45 of the 1992 Constitution, the EC could only compile a voter registration once and periodically revise it.

The other members on the panel were Justices Paul Baffoe Bonnie, Samuel K Marful-Sau, Nene Amegatcher, and Professor Ashie Kotey.

Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Deputy Attorney General, represented the State while Mr Justine Amenuvor represented the EC.

Source: GNA

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