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Supreme Court orders immediate voters' register clean up

Date published: Thursday, 5th May 2016

EC Chair, Charlotte Osei

The Supreme Court has ordered the Electoral Commission to delete from the electoral roll names of all dead people and persons who used the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card to register to vote.

This, according to the Court is because the register in its current form, is not reasonably credible.

The apex court also ordered the EC to allow those whose names will be removed because they used the NHIS card as proof of citizenship to register, an opportunity to register if they qualify.

The court gave its ruling on a case brought by two politicians seeking to challenge the credibility of Ghana's electoral roll.

The two opposition politicians, a former Youth Leader of the People's National Convention (PNC), Abu Ramadan and an NPP youth leader, Kwame Baffoe have been insisting that the voters' register in its current state is not fit to be used for the November election.

Since the Electoral Commission rejected a demand to compile a new voters' register, the two politicians are arguing that it should at least conduct an exercise to clean up the document by removing names of persons deemed ineligible to be on the roll.

This validation process, they say would be deemed a compromise after months of pressure from opposition parties on the EC yielded no results.

There are voters on the register who used an outlawed National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card to register to vote.

The Electoral Commission (EC) has said it can identify the names of those registrants and can, therefore, strike out the names.

Counsel for the two who sued the EC, Nana Asante Bediatuo sought to introduce fresh evidence which suggested that the EC lied to the Apex court when it stated that it could identify such voters on the electoral roll.

But the court denied the application to produce fresh evidence and gave it ruling on the matter.

The judges also asked the EC to remove from the register all minors who registered in the last elections in 2012.

The Supreme Court in its ruling on Thursday unanimously asked the EC to do all it can to consult others in its work.

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