The Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) says the position of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the commission can only compile the register of voters once at the inception of the Constitution and not on multiple occasions is an interpretation by the party to serve its ‘parochial interest’ and not a proper appreciation of the 1992 Constitution as a whole.
The EC, in its response to a suit filed by the NDC at the Supreme Court seeking to stop the electoral management body from compiling a new roll, says the party’s understanding and interpretation of Article 45(a) is absurd, strained and far-fetched.
“If successful with this absurd, strained and far-fetched interpretation of Article 45(a), the plaintiff (EC) wants this honourable court to declare that the 2nd defendant no longer has the mandate to compile a register of voters because that constitutional mandate has already been exhausted/used and it is left with only the mandate to revise the already existing register.
“This view of the plaintiff is rather unfortunate and misconceived. It is an artificial interpretation of this Article of the Constitution in particular and the whole Constitution in general. It is an interpretation impossible to come to upon reading the Constitution as a whole except for some subjective ends of the plaintiff’s parochial interest,” the EC’s response signed and filed by its lawyer, Justin Amenuvor, noted.
In late March this year, the NDC sued the Attorney General (AG) and attached the EC over the commission’s decision to compile a new voters’ register for the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The opposition party wants the Supreme Court to declare that the EC, per the 1992 Constitution, can only compile a voters’ register once and subsequently review it over time and not compile a new one instead.
The NDC is contending that the EC “can only revise the existing register of voters, and lacks the power to prepare a fresh register of voters for the conduct of the December 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.”
Among the declaration being sought by the NDC is that the current Voters ID card which was issued to prospective voters can and should be used for the purposes of identification and enable them to vote.