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General News of Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Source: GNA

Court to rule on NVP's injunction against EC

A High Court in Accra will on November 5 rule on whether or not to restrain the Electoral Commission (EC) from printing the December 7 presidential ballot papers.

The court, presided over by Sir Justice Dennis Agyei, will further rule on whether it had the jurisdiction to preside over a case in which the New Vision Party (NVP) is seeking an order declaring that the EC’s refusal to accept the party’s presidential nomination forms were unlawful.

The NVP had proceeded to the High Court after the EC had rejected its presidential nomination form on October 18, this year.

The EC had rejected the NVP presidential nomination form saying the forms were full of blank spaces, contrary to the requirement for completing the forms.

According to the EC, it had a constitutional duty to conduct the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for December 7 and any delay in carrying out the necessary preparation for the election would be detrimental to the whole nation.

It had therefore prayed the court to dismiss the application as it had no merit.

At the court's sitting on Wednesday, Mr. J.K. Yeboah, counsel for NVP, told the court that NVP, led by Prophet Daniel Nkansah, had complied with Constitutional Instrument 75 by filling the presidential nomination forms.

However, he said the EC, under the same Constitutional Instrument, rejected the forms without any justifying cause adding that the action of the Commission constituted a breach of the candidate's rights as a corporate citizen.

According to Mr. Agyemang, the High Court had the jurisdiction to hear the matter as no election had been conducted and they were not challenging the validity of a person who had been elected.

On the injunction, Mr. Agyemang said the EC, after rejecting the presidential nomination form of the NVP, the presidential candidate had moved another step by balloting for positions on the ballot paper.

The NVP contended further that a great hardship would be inflicted on the party should it win the substantive case and the EC is subsequently directed to accept the nomination form.

“This is a clear case where the wheel of the law applies its brake on the defendant to stop any further movement,” the party added.

The EC, represented by Mr James Quashie Idun, had filed the Commission’s affidavit in opposition to the two applications.

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