General News of Friday, 24 June 2016
Pressure group, Let My Vote Alliance (LMVCA) doubts the Electoral Commission (EC)’s ability to present a credible list of voters who registered with the National Health Insurance Card to the Supreme Court by June 29.
Convener of the group, David Asante Boateng, says the group foresees the EC compiling a haphazard and an untrustworthy list to the Supreme Court judges in a bid to meet the deadline.
“The fact of the Electoral Commission going to sit down to pick out over four million names of NHIS registrants from the overall voter register, apart from it being a Herculean task, we know on authority the EC cannot and does not have that document in its database. They do not have it,” Mr. Boateng told Joy News.
The EC incurred the wrath of the judges when it failed to comply with the earlier orders to delete names of all persons who registered with the NHIS card and reregister them with the appropriate identification cards.
On Thursday, five judges, chaired by the Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood said they will not sit down to allow the EC plunge the country into chaos. The judges say the EC had set aside the Court’s orders and was doing its own thing, a move they say could weaken trust in the Commission ahead of the November polls.
The Court ordered the Commission to submit before it, a comprehensive list of all persons who registered with NHIS cards in 2012, by June 29.
Additionally, the apex court directed the EC to develop guidelines on the specific processes and methods it intends to adopt in implementing the orders in the May 5 judgement on the voters register.
The five judges had met to bring clarity on an earlier judgment given by the Court of a case brought before them by two applicants, one of whom is People’s National Convention (PNC) former General Secretary, Abu Ramadan.
The applicants had, among other reliefs requested the court to order a recompilation of the voter’s register they claim was unwholesome for the November elections.
Although Deputy Commissioner of the EC, Amadu Sulley, says steps have been taken to compile the list and meet the June 29 deadline set by the Supreme Court, LMVCA says that revelation cannot be accurate.
“The EC is simply not going to be able to produce those names. The EC is going to present a set of names which is not going to be up to the total number of names sitting on voters’ register,” he said.
He alleged that “prior to the Court’s ruling [the EC] was locked up in an engagement with the Plaintiff’s lawyers where it turned out that the EC openly declared it does not have what it takes to determine the total numbers involved in registration with NHIS cards because of the widespread numbers involved.”
Meanwhile, National Democratic Congress (NDC) Deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho, says at this point, the orders of the Court, whether favourable or not must be obeyed.
Both the NDC and the EC had the same interpretation of the apex court’s May 5 ruling, i.e. that the EC takes steps to clean the current register of voters to comply with the provisions of the 1992 Constitution, and applicable laws of Ghana.
The EC and the NDC had not understood the May 5 Judgement to mean that NHIS registrants should be expunged from the electoral roll.
“The EC has spoken, fine. So shall it be and so must it be,” said Mr Anyidoho on Top Story on Joy FM, Friday.
Counsel for the Plaintiffs, Nana Asante Bediatuo, said on Top Story he is confident in the Court’s ability to scritinise the list EC will present, casting doubt on the possibility of the EC deceiving anyone.