Limited voter registration unlawful - NDC tells EC [VIDEO]top
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described as "unlawful and unreasonable" the decision of the Electoral Commission (EC) to start the limited voter registration exercise in its district offices despite the pending interlocutory injunction by four political parties.
In the view of the party, the action of the EC was not only in breach of Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution which mandated every citizen to register and vote in public elections, but it was also an avenue for voter suppression.
The Chairman of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, who said this at a press briefing yesterday, added that the restriction of the registration exercise to the EC's district offices further violated Article 45(e) of the Constitution which provided that the EC must undertake activities that would expand voter registration.
"If the EC consciously organises a voter registration exercise in a manner that restricts access, they are violating the Constitution," he said.
Citing Regulation 2(2)(b) of C.I 91 (Amended by C.I. 126) - the law that governs centres for voter registration - he said the electoral law required that in designating a place as a registration centre, it must be suitable for use as a polling station in an election and be accessible to prospective applicants.
"The EC's voter registration exercise does not meet these requirements because the district offices are not suitable for use as polling stations," he said.
Turning his attention to the Supreme Court, the NDC Chairman said it was worrying that the apex court of the land failed to hear the injunction application filed by the NDC, Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Convention People’s Party (CPP), All People’s Congress (APC) and the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) against the EC.
He said the deferred hearing on the suit was unacceptable as it was not good for the country’s constitutional democracy.
The NDC Chairman added that although the party was against the EC's action, it would fully participate in it and also ensure that there was no manipulation.
He said preliminary observations of the registration process on the first day had shown that there were a myriad of challenges across the country.
For instance, he said about 90 per cent of the registration centres could not do the start of day printout to determine if some persons were pre-registered in the system.
Again, he said the registration process failed to start in most of the areas at the advertised time, 7a.m., with some places starting as late as mid-day.