EC ignores parties’ court action; says preparations for by-elections is on

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The Chairman of the Electoral Commission says it is only a court of law that can it from going ahead with the conduct of by-elections at Wulensi and Kwabre West.

The General Secretaries of the four main political parties Wednesday, in an unprecedented move, jointly sued the Electoral Commission seeking to stop it from going ahead with by-elections in the two constituencies.

They say the EC is dabbling in an unconstitutionality by wanting to use the old voters’ register for the elections instead of the biometric register.

The General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie said Section 32 of CI 72 had repealed CI 12 which the EC was seeking to rely on for the elections.

NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia told Joy News that apart the more fundamental argument about unconstitutionality, it made little sense to expend time, energy and resources to elect MPs for the two constituencies who may spend just a few weeks in Parliament before the December polls are due.

But EC Chairman, Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan says the constitutional arguments raised were tenuous.

He told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday that s.32 of CI 72 upon which the plaintiffs were relying for their action simply says that that section repeals CI 12.

He contended the Section does not expressly say that CI 72 is the only applicable law, asking the plaintiffs to read Regulation 26 of CI 72: “(1) The Commission shall certify the register after the determination of claims or objections. (2) After the register has been certified it shall be published in the manner determined by the Commission and shall replace any existing voters register.”

“Our view is that until we finish making the biometric register – everybody knows that we haven’t travelled the entire legal journey of making that register – until we do that, the old register is still valid,” he stated.

Dr Afari-Gyan said the Commission was carrying out its constitutional mandate and will continue to do so until stopped by a court of law.

The EC Chairman said he was undaunted by the numerous legal challenges against the Commission’s actions by groups and individuals, asking, “What has been the extent of success of these issues that have been taken to court. That will determine whether we are doing things in an arbitrary manner or not.”

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