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EC Will Abide By Orders Of Supreme Court   
 
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21-May-2016  
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The Electoral Commission ( EC) has said by itself, has no power under any law currently in force to unilaterally delete the names of persons from the register.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state that under the existing and applicable law, where a person’s registration is challenged during a registration process, that challenge must be referred to a District Registration Review Committee (DRRC) for determination,” it said.

It said the EC was only permitted to act on the decision of the DRRC following the determination of the challenge to delete or maintain the name of the challenged person on the register.

A statement signed by Madam Georgina Opoku Amankwaa, a Deputy Chair of the EC, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, on Friday, said similarly, for persons who were already on the Provisional Register, the law required that an objection be made during the exhibition process either by a registered voter or an official of the Commission.

It said these objections would then be referred to the District Registration Review Officer (DRRO) for determination.

The Commission, it said, was required by the law to act on the decision of the DRRO following determination of the objection.

“As an institution that derives its existence from the law, the Electoral Commission cannot be seen to be acting arbitrarily,” it said.

“The Commission is urging all stakeholders in the political process to join us in working to ensure a cleaner register ahead of this year’s election.

“We are delighted that the Supreme Court agrees with us on this position. In complying with the directives of the Apex Court, the Commission intends to fully follow the applicable law.”

It said its legal advisers had carefully studied the recent judgement of the Supreme Court on May 5, 2016, in respect of the case of the “Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako vrs The Electoral Commission and The Attorney-General”.

It stated that the Supreme Court’s ruling ordered the Electoral Commission to take steps immediately to delete, or as is popularly known, ‘clean” the current register of voters to comply with the provisions of the 1992 Constitution, and the applicable laws of Ghana.

It said the ruling also stated that any person whose name was deleted from the register of voters by the Electoral Commission pursuant to that order be given the opportunity to register under the law.

The statement said the Commission was of the view that the directives of the Apex Court were clear and emphasised the processes already laid down in the law for cleaning the voters’ register.

It said the Supreme Court was of the view that these processes were ‘ample and sufficient’ to remove the names of ineligible and deceased persons from the register.

It said the Supreme Court essentially held as follows; “That the EC has a duty to compile a credible register, and in so doing, must act within the remits of the Constitution and the applicable law.

“That the existing law has made ample and sufficient provisions for ineligible names to be deleted during the exhibition of the provisional register but such deletions must be in accordance with the applicable law.”

The EC said for persons who registered with NHIA cards, such registrations were lawful at the time of registration, and the subsequent declaration of unconstitutionality in the earlier Abu Ramadan case, did not ‘automatically render them void.”

It said such a position, according to the Supreme Court, “would have the effect of disenfranchising the persons affected.

Therefore, such registrations should only be deleted by means of processes established under the law, the EC said.
 
 
Source: GNA
 
 

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