EC’s Stubbornness has really landed them in a very strait jacket…
Abu Ramadan, who is the master-minder of the law suit against the Electoral Commission, over the cleaning of the voter’s register prior to the upcoming elections said the EC’s Stubbornness has eventually plunged it into a rather difficult situation.
Mr Abu Ramadan, made these comments while speaking in an interview on Eyewitness News, in reaction to the new Supreme court order, issued Thursday, in which the Electoral Commission was given six days to produce a full list of those who registered with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card.
The court took this move against the EC in the bid to clarify its May 5, 2016 judgement, regarding the removal of unqualified persons on the voters register. In addition, the court ordered the EC to provide them with a detailed plan on how they intend deleting and re-registering the NHIS registrants.
Abu Ramadan expressed lack of sympathy for the EC as he believes they had more than enough time to adequately clean the voters’ register but refused to do. He had earlier indicated that it would take a number of months for the EC to compile such a list. However, the commission now has only 6 days to produce the list.
I don’t know if the six days they have been given will be enough for them, but that it’s not for me to say. The commission had two solid years to deal with this matter, to lay this matter to rest. The commission failed to take action. They also failed do deal with the crux of this matter. Aside the two years, the commission had an extra one month to really sort itself out to take the orders of the court serious, and put into effect the orders of the court which it refused to. If the commission had shown good faith and good intent to carry out the orders of the court, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We are where we are today because the commission has not shown good faith in this matter.
On Thursday, May 5, the Supreme Court ordered the Electoral Commission to delete from the electoral roll names of persons who have not established qualification to be on the register as well as deceased persons and minors. No specific timeline was given for the cleaning. The ruling follows a suit challenging the validity of the current voters register, filed by former PNC youth organiser Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako, who in 2014 won a lawsuit that prohibited the use of NHIS cards for registration.
The judgment was interpreted to mean that the court was referring to persons who used the NHIS cards as proof of citizenship to register to vote when it talked about ‘persons who have not established qualification to be on the register.’
But the EC after studying the ruling said it’s understanding does not suggest the use of any new process to delete the names of those who registered with NHIS cards, since there are already laid down procedures for discarding ineligible names. The EC appeared to have been persuaded by the argument that the Supreme Court’s order had nothing to do with NHIS card registrants.
However, the relentless Abu Ramadan, went back to the apex court, demanding a thorough clarification on the interpretation of the court ruling. Now, his prayers are answered! Although the EC has agreed to clean the register, they no longer have the privilege of doing it at their on time or pace.