The Electoral Commission (EC) will begin the Voters Registration Exercise on Tuesday the 30th of June 2020 as the Supreme Court has ruled in its favour and dismissed all cases brought against it.
The Commission made this known in a press statement while entreating the relevant stakeholders to prep themselves for the over one-month-period exercise.
It reads, “The Electoral Commission takes this opportunity to assure its stakeholders that the Voters Registration Exercise will start from Tuesday, the 30th of June, 2020 to the 6th of August, 2020. The Commission entreats all its stakeholders to hold themselves in readiness for the Voters Registration Exercise.”
Following the ruling of the court, the Commission stated that it believes in the sanctity of the law and it respects the decision of the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court on Thursday, the 25th of June, 2020 ruled in favour of the Commission after it dismissed an amicus brief submitted by a number of civil society organizations based on the premise that these groups are bias and forcing their will on the court.
The court in its ruling stated that “the Electoral Commission in exercising their discretion in the discharge of their constitutional mandate in cleaning the Voters Register should be deemed as authorized to be acting within the law and regulations therein, and cannot be faulted even if it is considered that there is a more efficient mode or method available.”
The Supreme Court in ensuring that the Commission stays on track, reiterated the C.I 126 Public Election (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) 2020. C.I 126 is the requirement of proof of identification for the purposes of the registration of which some are, a passport, national identification card issued by National Identification Authority among others.
The court also directed the Commission as well as its stakeholders to comply with articles 42 and 45.
Meanwhile, the Commission has assured to adhere to strict protective measures to ensure the safety of the public during the exercise.
Ever since the EC announced of wanting to conduct a new Voters Registration exercise during these perilous times, coronavirus pandemic, there have been numerous deliberations and rise against the decision. The opposition party, the National Democratic Congress being the main propagator as well as civil society organizations (CSOs) like IMANI Center for Policy and Education.
As part of efforts of CSOs to stop the exercise, they presented an amicus brief to the court but it was dismissed based on the fact that they are asking to be friends of the court and assist it with a biased standpoint.
Reaction to the court’s ruling
The court’s ruling however did not sit right with some Ghanaians, one of which is a Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law, New Jersey.
According to Mr. Henry Kwasi Prempeh, who expressed his shock in a Facebook post indicated that perhaps, it is only in Ghana that an amicus brief has to be presented on a neutral ground.
It reads, “this is the first time in my life as a law scholar and lawyer, trained in the Anglo-American legal tradition, that I am learning that in order to be allowed permission to file an amicus curiae brief, one must be ‘neutral’ or disinterested in the case in question. This is the exact opposite of everything I know about amicus briefs.”
Read the EC’s press statement below