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General News of Friday, 14 September 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

EC defies lawsuits; limited voter registration starts from September 16

The Electoral Commission is set to roll out a limited voter registration exercise from Sunday, September 16 to Tuesday, September 25.

The exercise forms part of plans towards the upcoming referendum on the creation of new regions, scheduled for later this year, 2018.

According to the Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa, the registration exercise will be rolled out, despite the recent lawsuits against the Commission on the same matter.

Addressing the media earlier today [Friday], Mrs. Mensa also assured of the Commission’s preparedness financially, for the limited registration exercise in some 47 districts that will be affected by the creation of the new regions.

“With regards to the suit, the service of the writ of summons on us was delivered yesterday [Thursday], but it was not with an implication and therefore it cannot be held binding an effective injunction on the commission. And that is why we are going ahead with the limited registration exercise as planned,” she added.

The Electoral Commission has been hit with two different suits challenging the yet-to-be-held referendum for the creation of six additional regions.

A group calling itself Strategic Thinkers Network-Africa as well as three individuals, Mayor Agblexe, Destiny Awlimey, and Jean-Claude Koku Amenyaoglo have dragged the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General to the Supreme Court in two separate suits.

The Commission is putting processes in place to hold a referendum in parts of the country for the creation of six additional regions following recommendations the Justice Brobbey Commission made to government.

The 19-member Commission after holding nationwide consultations urged government create the administrative regions to be known as Oti, Ahafo, Brong East, Western North, North East and Savanna.

The EC at its recent Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting approved a roadmap for organizing the referendum which will begin with a limited voter registration exercise in the beneficiary communities.

The Strategic Thinkers Network-Africa is seeking an injunction on the referendum process to be held in beneficiary communities.

The group wants the Supreme Court to declare as null and void the Electoral Commission’s plan to limit the referendum to only registered voters in the yet-to-be-created regions.

The group also wants a declaration that the impending limited voter registration exercise in the beneficiary areas “is arbitrary, whimsical and capricious and violates Articles 45(a) and 296 of the 1992 Constitution and therefore unconstitutional.”

Jean Mensah at the press conference said the commission will publish the full cost of the exercise in due course.

“Over the last few weeks, we’ve heard discussions on the cost of elections and we are very mindful of managing the taxpayers’ resources and we’ll ensure that we use it in the most prudent of manners looking at international best practices. We have received some monies for it and I’d like to assure you that the commission is not cash-starved and therefore the processes will go on as planned. But we are unable now to let you know the actual cost. I’d like to assure you that we will make this available in due course,” she added.