Home News Parties Division over Supreme Court ruling on new register

Parties Division over Supreme Court ruling on new register

The parties involved in the case demanding the use of the current voter ID as a prerequisite and valid proof of identity in the upcoming voter registration exercise are sharply divided over a ruling delivered by the Supreme Court.

Although the court delivered the ruling today, Thursday, June 25, 2020, factions in the case are giving conflicting interpretations into the decision.

The Supreme Court upon dismissing some of the reliefs sought by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Mark Takyi-Banson, directed the Electoral Commission to go ahead with the voter registration exercise as scheduled.

The Court also made subsequent pronouncements on the law governing elections in the country.

This, however, left the parties involved divided over whether the Court upheld the use of the existing voter ID card as proof of identity for the purposes of registration or not.

Lawyers of the parties are currently still engaged over the decision of the Court.

Whereas officials of the NDC believe the ruling went in their favour, officials from the Attorney General’s office argue otherwise.

Asiedu Nketia speaks

General Secretary of the NDC, Johson Asiedu Nketia told the media that “We just came out of the Supreme Court and the court has just delivered its ruling, which has granted our request for the inclusion of the existing voter card as a source document for the compilation of the new voters’ register. I think that we are most grateful. This is the most substantive issue for which we came to court”.

“So we will get back to the office and we will address a full-blown press conference on the consequential matters arising. We feel vindicated because the court itself in an earlier ruling has clearly stated that the possession of an existing voters’ ID means that the holder is a citizen of Ghana who is qualified to be registered and to exercise his or her powers and so the court couldn’t go back on its own earlier ruling,” he added.

NDC’s case

The largest opposition party –the National Democratic Congress (NDC)– went to court, praying the court to declare the existing voter ID card as a valid proof of identity for the purposes of voter registration.

The party argued that the existing voter ID card remains a valid proof of citizenship per the Court’s own earlier decision, as such, cannot be excluded from the required documents one can rely on to register in the June 30 voter registration exercise.

A private citizen, Mark Takyi-Banson who also went to court at the same time, asked the Court to declare as unconstitutional the exclusion of the birth certificate from the list of documents a qualified voter can rely on to enrol onto the electoral roll.

He was also seeking a declaration the Electoral Commission’s decision to compile an entirely new voters’ register as unconstitutional.