Wulensi & Kwabre West By-Election: Court Stops EC

A Human Rights Court in Accra has placed an injunction on the Electoral Commission (EC) from holding the Wulensi and Kwabre West by-elections. This follows the joint suit filed against the EC by four political parties, namely the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention People's Party (CPP) and People's National Convention (PNC). The four parties sought for a court injunction against the EC due to the absence of a substantive voters register to successfully conduct the elections in the two constituencies. The by-elections were called in the wake of the death of the MPs for the two constituencies. Alhaji Sani Iddi and Mr Emmanuel Owusu Ansah, MPs for Wulensi and Kwabre West respectively, died within a space of one month. The EC had thus slated July 31, 2012 for the Wulensi by-elections and penciled August 14 as the date for the Kwabre West; and had even begun receiving nominations for the Wulensi by election. But that is now on hold after the court upheld the arguments of the parties. The parties had argued that in the absence of a valid voters register, the EC could not go ahead with the by-election since that will be dabbling in an illegality; an allegation the EC rejected. The four parties contended that Constitutional Instrument 72 effectively repealed CI 12 on the basis of which the EC was seeking to use the old voters register for the elections. The court presided over by Justice Essel Mensah duely ruled in their favour; consequently preventing the EC from undertaking the exercise.