27th May 2024

Supporters of the opposition National Democratic Congress have been ordered by the party’s National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, to stay away from the new voters’ registration exercise scheduled to start from June 30.

This is in spite of the dropping of the party’s decision to challenge the exercise in court.

Mr Ofosu Ampofo gave the orders while addressing party members and supporters at the party’s head office during the celebration of its 28th anniversary.

“We say ‘no’ to the new register and even if Parliament passes the legislation we will not accept it. We are not just against it because they will not accept the old voter card, but because the whole atmosphere in the country is not conducive,” he said.

Mr Ampofo’s directives come at a time the General Secretary of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, and the National Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah, are reported to have gone up North to incite supporters and the people in those areas against the Electoral Commission.

The current order, similar to the one that was given to supporters of the party at the beginning of the nationwide registration by the National Identification Authority (NIA), comes also at a time when Parliament has passed the Constitutional Instrument (CI) to, among other things, govern the voters’ registration exercise.

Court retreat

Meanwhile, the NDC has withdrawn part of its case at the Supreme Court challenging the powers of the elections management body to compile a new voters’ register.

The withdrawal follows a directive from the apex court for the party to make a choice on which of its two reliefs it wants a decision on.

The party had taken the EC to court challenging its mandate to compile a new voters’ register. While challenging the mandate of the EC, the party was at the same time praying the court to order the EC to accept the old voters ID card as a proof of identification for the upcoming new registration exercise.

Godwin Tamakloe, counsel for the NDC, given the options by the court yesterday, opted for a ruling on the use of the old voter ID card, dropping the claim of the unconstitutionality of the decision by EC to compile a new register.

The court then adjourned the case to June 23 for the final judgment.

EC’s defence

At its last sitting, last week, the court directed the EC to submit its legal justification for the exclusion of the old voter ID card from the required list of proof of eligibility.

The EC, in filing its justification, among others, argued that the Commission is an independent body and has the constitutional responsibility of determining how any registration exercise will be conducted.

It has also described the old voter ID as “a fruit from a poisoned tree” and a breach of Article 42 of the constitution, which defines who is qualified to register to vote.

It cited the court’s judgement in the Abu Ramadan case, where it indicated that the use of the National Health Insurance Card to register a voter is inconsistent with Article 42 of the constitution and therefore void.

Source: Daily Statesman

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