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General News of Monday, 7 November 2016

Source: Class FM

Supreme Court’s judgment victory for democracy – EC

The judgment handed by the Supreme Court of Ghana ordering the Electoral Commission (EC) to allow disqualified flag bearer of the Progressive People’s Party, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, to get back into the presidential race is victory for democracy, Thaddeus Sory, lawyer for the EC has said.

The apex court on Monday, 7 November also ordered the EC to extend the nomination period for flag bearers to Tuesday, 8 November. It also directed the EC to give all parties a fair hearing to make the necessary corrections on their nomination forms.

Additionally, the Supreme Court ordered all High Courts to suspend any case before them in connection with the disqualification of other flag bearers.

The EC resorted to the Supreme Court via a certiorari application to seek finality to the plethora of court cases filed against it by some of the 13 presidential nominees it disqualified over certain filing anomalies.

Prior to the certiorari application, the EC said in a statement after the High Court ruling that it had “completed a review of the judgment of the High Court, Accra dated 28th October, 2016 in the case of the Republic v Mrs. Charlotte Osei & Electoral Commission; Ex parte Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, numbered GT1401/2016. Having carefully studied the contents of the judgment, we respectfully disagree with the High Court judge’s decision on several essential legal and public policy grounds.”

Speaking to the press after the Supreme Court’s judgment, Mr Sory said: “This is victory for democracy. The court was very categorical in its orders.”

“We (EC) came here on three grounds – error of law, wrongful assumption of jurisdiction, and excess of jurisdiction, and the court agreed with us that while it was evident that there was an error of law on the face of the record, it did not go with the (High) Court’s jurisdiction and so it wouldn’t quash it (High Court ruling), the court dismissed our second ground but upheld the third ground.”

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