There seems to be an underlying stance of disobedience in the response of the Electoral Commission to the order to “clean up the voters register with immediate effect” which was issued out in a ruling Thursday by the Supreme Court.
Many have described their response as worrisome which may lead to further chaos between the EC and opposition parties and groups.
Following a suit filed against the Electoral Commission by former youth president of the People’s National Convention(PNC), Abu Ramadan which was heard Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that the EC clears the voters register of all ineligible voters before it will be used for the upcoming general elections. These includes the names of deceased people which was reportedly about 600,000, those who registered with the NHIS cards, minors, non-citizens and other kinds of ineligible voters.
However, responding to the verdict, the Electoral Commission claimed that it is already in the process of cleaning up the register and that it knows how to go about it.
In addition, they said that they are going to use the exhibition process scheduled for June to rid the register of all unwanted names. According to the Deputy EC Chair, Georgina Amankwah they have decided to use the June exhibition process to implement the order so as to give the public the opportunity to challenge the inclusion of names suspected to be ineligible.
However, Lawyer Nana Asante Bediatuo, who secured a Supreme Court order on behalf of the plaintiff, said he was “a bit baffled” by the EC’s plans, describing the process as illegal.
The lawyer explained that the exhibition process puts the responsibility of identifying ineligible voters on private individuals. Nana Asante Bediatuo insisted that since the EC admitted having the ability to identify the ineligible names during the court hearing, it should by itself identify and delete the names. “So if they are still talking about using the exhibition process…that would be in my view a violation of the court order”, he argued.
We all are aware of the conflict and upheavals this issue of “bloated voters register” has caused in the country for about a year now. If the EC, as we are perceiving, succeeds in dodging the Supreme Court orders this time around, it may eventually result to a more serious chaos.