A former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, has said the Electoral Commissions’ response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the voters’ register is creating an unwarranted constitutional crisis.
The EC explained in its official response to the recent Supreme Court ruling that they were not instructed to delete the names of those who registered ahead of the 2012 elections with the National Health Insurance card as a proof of identity.The apex court ruled in a case brought before it by a former National Youth Organizer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Abu Ramadan and one Evans Nimako, who were challenging the credibility of the voters’ register.
According to the EC, per the ruling, such names can only be removed using the already existing processes used for expunging ineligible names.
But Mr. Ayikoi Otoo says the EC’s interpretation of the ruling is only creating a constitutional crisis. He thus backed Abu Ramadan’s decision sue the EC and its top members for contempt.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, the former Attorney General said, “they [The EC] are throwing this country into an unnecessary constitutional crisis and I support Abu Ramadan when he says he is going to cite them of contempt of court.”
According to him, the order from the court directed the EC to delete the names of voters who registered with the NHIS card from the register, until they are able to prove they are Ghanaians for them to be re-registered.
“In view of the fact that you have some of these names there which the Supreme Court has declared not valid, it makes the whole register not valid and for that reason, a new register ought to be compiled,” Mr. Ayikoi Otoo stated.
“…So delete but still give them the chance to re-register if they can show they are Ghanaians. Then that will amount to you not disenfranchising them,” he explained in response to the EC’s claims they do not want to disenfranchise voters by just deleting names from the register without using laid down procedures.
Mr. Ayikoi Otoo insisted that there was no ambiguity in the ruling and that if the EC believed they were incapable of carrying out the Supreme Court’s clear directive, they should have simply informed them.
“If I make an order and that order is incapable of being enforced, what you should do is come back to the court and tell me your difficulties, why you are unable to execute those orders.”
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana