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General News of Saturday, 27 June 2020


Supreme Court ruling only confused lawyers - Ayariga on new register

Hassan Ayariga, ACP founder Hassan Ayariga, ACP founder

Founder and Flagbearer of the All People’s Congress (APC) Hassan Ayariga, has said the Supreme Court's judgement on the new voters registration exercise made it difficult for Lawyers to understand the ruling.

According to him, the seven-member panel judge did not critically probe into the National Democratic Congress’ case challenging the exclusion of the existing voter ID cards from the list of documents needed to register to vote, hence the confusion.

Speaking in an interview on Citi FM, he explained that “the Supreme Court endorsed C.I. 126 to allow the use of NIA card and Ghana passport for the registration exercise. What it means is that institutions can now pass laws for the Supreme Court to comply and endorse. Practically, that is what happened. That is why it was very difficult for lawyers to understand the ruling. The Supreme Court actually did not do anything. It only confirmed C.I. 126 and made some kind of pronouncements for the lawyers to get confused.”

The Supreme Court of Ghana, on June 27, 2020, ordered the Electoral Commission to go ahead with the compilation of a new voters register and supported the EC’s decision to remove the current voter ID from the list of identification documents required to register to vote.

According to the Apex Court, the EC is an independent body and will only be directed by the court if it acts contrary to law.

But Hassan Ayariga who is also one of the conveners of the Inter-Party Resistance Against the New Voters’ Register, opposing the compilation of the new electoral roll, argued that the apex court failed to understand the reality most Ghanaians are faced with having the required documents to register

“Now what the Supreme Court needs to do is to define who a Ghanaian is by this ruling. Because as far as we are aware, the Court failed to scrutinise the argument very well. One would ask, is that logic, or was that a ruling? Because for me, what the Supreme Court did was to tell Ghanaians that they don’t have to worry themselves about the EC because the EC is an autonomous body. They can compile the register and you just have to follow the rules they have set regardless of the rules in question,” he remarked.