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General News of Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Suit against special voting aimed at peaceful polls – Plaintiffs

One of the three men who have dragged the Electoral Commission to the Supreme Court over delayed declaration of special voting results says they hope to block possible disagreements in the crucial December polls.

Dr Amoko Tuffour, Ben Arthur and Adreba Abrefa Damoa are seeking an order to compel the commission to announce results of early voting by security personnel, journalists and other selected groups on the same day it is held.

They are also seeking a Supreme Court order directed at the Electoral Commission to "comply with the provisions of 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 in respect of special voting for the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections and any subsequent public election in the Republic of Ghana."

Speaking on current affairs programme, PM Express on the Joy News channel (Multi TV) Tuesday, Mr Ben Arthur said they are not seeking to hold up the Electoral Commission’s ability to deliver on its mandate ahead of the December polls.

Mr Arthur, who is also an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) expert, said there are early warning signs that the upcoming election would prove to be the most troublesome.

“If I look at the early warning signs and the contest of this election, we cannot probably assume that it has been the same as 1992, ’96, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012; we cannot conveniently say that the situation is the same [as in 2016].

“The context has changed; even the legal regime that regulated all these has changed. There has been a significant variation,” he said on PM Express.

He said if Ghana prides itself as the beacon of democracy in West Africa and Africa, then the country must rise to the challenge of utter transparency during elections.

“If you look at countries around us and worldwide, early voting which we have titled ‘special voting’, is counted immediately,” he said.

The EC is already battling at least three legal actions following the disqualification Presidential aspirants of some 13 political parties.

Ben Arthur says their action is not burden the elections management body further.

"All of us in this country want a free and fair election, we want a transparent election and credible election and above all we need a very peaceful election," he said.