After the long pendulous case on the current voters register, the Supreme Court has ordered the Electoral Commission (EC) to take immediate steps to clean the current voters register.
The court presided over by Chief Justice Georgina Wood ordered the EC to remove names of persons who registered using the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards. The apex court also ordered the EC to eliminate minors as well as delete names of deceased persons as well as ineligible persons whose names are on the register.
However there was no specific timeline given for the cleaning. The ruling follows a suit filed by former PNC youth organiser Abu Ramadan challenging the validity of the current voters register. On the defense that it was compromised and cannot be used for the 2016 general elections, he had prayed court to declare the register null and void and order a validation of all registered voters.
The court however did not state categorically that the current register be declared null and void as it could not tell the actual number of those who registered with NHIS cards, as well as deceased persons on the register. Instead, it ordered the EC to give those who registered with the NHIS cards another chance to register with alternative valid ID cards. Court also ordered the commission to provide opportunities for people whose names have been deleted from the register to be restored.
The various opposition groups which have been on the EC’s case concerning the voters’ register can now collectively rest their case as actions are being taken now to address their protests. There have been series of counter attacks between big wigs of different political parties regarding the voters’ register with majority pointing fingers at the EC for being unprofessional in carrying out their responsibilities.