The opposition National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) legal challenge on the exclusion of the current voter ID card from the June 30 voter registration exercise will be heard today June 11 at the Supreme Court.
This has resulted in heavy security presence at the Supreme Court.
There are a number of armed personnel from the Formed Police Unit of the Ghana police service at the court premises.
The Court at its last sitting last Thursday directed the Electoral Commission to submit its legal justification for seeking to exclude the old voter ID card from the required list of proof of eligibility to register to vote in the 2020 general elections.
This has subsequently been done with the NDC also filing a supplementary statement.
The National Democratic Congress has invoked the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to determine whether or not it is unconstitutional for the EC to reject an existing voters ID as the basis for the upcoming voter registration exercise.
The NDC contends that the decision of the EC to reject an existing voter ID will disenfranchise many Ghanaians which is a violation of Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution and that, per Article 45 of the Constitution, the EC can only compile a voter registration once and periodically, revise it.
On June 9, 2020 Parliament approved the Electoral Commission’s Constitutional Instrument (C.I. 126).
This CI will allow the Commission to compile a new voters’ register with new requirements.
Out of the 198 MPs who were present in the Chamber, 106 from the Majority side voted in favour while 92 Minority members voted against it.
The Minority prior to the voting had argued that the C.I. will disenfranchise many Ghanaians who do not have a passport or Ghana Card – as the new requirements demand – before they can register to vote in the December 2020 elections.
They say the C.I. will spell doom for the country’s democracy and they will hold the Electoral Commission officials pushing for its approval responsible for any future occurrences.
The Electoral Commission has made it clear that for one to be able to register for the new Voters ID, the person requires a passport or a Ghana Card and not a birth certificate or the old Voters ID.
The Electoral Commission (EC) has stated that the underlying legal reasons for its decision not to include the existing voters’ Identification Card (ID) in its upcoming registration exercise is because the Supreme Court itself has held that the register is reasonably not credible and that by implication, the cards issued pursuant to it are also reasons not credible.
The EC made this accession in its thirty-one (31) page response to the order of a seven-member Supreme Court panel on the 4th of June 2020, to provide legal basis for its decision to exclude the existing voters’ identity card from the list of IDs that are admissible for the upcoming voters’ registration exercise due to commence at the end of the month of June. The EC’s Supplementary Statement of Case was filed today Monday, the 8th of June 2020 in fulfilment of the timelines given by the Supreme Court.