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General News of Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Source: GNA

SC to commence Special Voting case hearing on Wednesday

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked lawyers in the case seeking an order to compel the Electoral Commission (EC) to announce results of Special Voting on the day of casting to file memorandum of issues by the close of today.

This is to enable the Court to commence hearing on Wednesday November 9.

At the court"s sitting, Mr Justice William Atuguba who presided, said the court had seen the statement of case and response filed by the parties.

According to the court time was of essence and therefore, the parties should file their memorandum of issues agreed upon and adjourned the matter to Wednesday. 

Dr. Kwame Amoako-Tuffuor, a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and two others proceeded to the highest Court of the land to seek an order to compel the Commission to announce results of special voting on the same day it was held.

Dr Amoako-Tuffuor and the other plaintiffs, Benjamin Arthur and Adreba Abrefa Damoa contended that security operatives and persons who would usually be working on the Election Day partakes in the special voting.

The Plaintiffs are of the belief that people who want to take part in the special voting should not be  make to wait until the total results on actual polling were to be declared and that the results should be declared immediately after the polls have closed.

They argued that section 23 of C.I. 94; the law which regulated the conduct of the Polls, was inconsistent with Article 49 of the 1992 constitution.

According to them per the C.I. 94, the Returning Officer shall at the end of the special voting: ensure that the ballot boxes used in the special election are kept in safe custody after the poll has closed. Also, the Officer is to ensure that the ballot boxes are sealed with the seals of the EC and any candidates or party who wish to add their seal.

The EC also arranges for the ballot boxes to be opened at the time of the counting of the votes cast on the polling day and the ballot papers shall be counted in the same manner as those contained in the ballot boxes used on the main polling day. 

The plaintiffs are seeking a true and proper interpretation of Article 49 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1992, as against special voting’ in CI.94.

The plaintiffs are also seeking a true and proper interpretation of Article 49 of the Constitution “and Section 13 of the Representation of the People Law, 1992? PNDCL 284.”

The Plaintiffs said that presidential and parliamentary elections ought to be counted and announced there and then on the date(s) of the special voting by the Presiding Officers and the results at each polling station before communicating same to the Returning Officer.

They are further seeking a declaration that Regulation 23(11) of Public Elections Regulations, 2016? CI.94 is inconsistent with Article 49 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

In addition, they are seeking an order striking down Regulation 23(11) of Public Elections Regulations, 2016? CI.94 as being inconsistent with Article 49(2), (3)(a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1992 and Section 13 of the Representation of the People Law, 1992? PNDCL 284.

Mr Egbert Faibille Junior represented the plaintiffs while Mrs Dorothy Afriyie represented the Attorney General. The Electoral Commission had Mr Sean Opoku representing it.