PPP goes to the SC …over claim of transitional provision created by C.I. 72
By Ivy Benson
The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) is up in arms against the Electoral Commission (EC) over its action concerning the transitional provision and omission that existed in the promulgation of C.I. 72 that introduced the biometric voters’ registration to replace the old voters’ register, C.I. 12.
The party has, therefore, invoked the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (SC) seeking an interpretation of Article 2, 130 (1) (a-b), 132 of the 1992 Constitution.
Also cited in the writ are the Attorney General and the three major political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP), whose action the PPP claim to be unconstitutional and alien to the 1992 Constitution.
The court, presided over by Justice (Dr.) Date-Baah, yesterday adjourned the case to October 10, this year, following the absence of all parties from court.
The court, therefore, ordered the registrar of the court to serve all parties to the suit with hearing notices to enable them appear in court on the next adjourned date.
The rest of the panel members are Justices Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira (Mrs.), Annin-Yeboah, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Sule Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo (Mrs.)
The PPP is seeking a declaration of the SC that the gap that existed in replacing the Old voters’ registration C.I. 12 with the biometric Voters’ registration, C.I 72 to enable constituents vote and elect Members of Parliament (MPs) by using the latter as required by Regulation 26 (5) of C.I. 72, is inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore null and void.
The party is further asking the SC to declare that the EC, Parliament, any authority or person has no power under the law to promulgate any law such as C.I. 72 that has the effect of disenfranchising constituents from voting and electing their representatives for Parliament.
PPP is also asking the SC to declare the actions of the NPP, NDC and the CPP as not in the proper forum when they took legal action against the EC at the High court with the aim of preventing the EC from holding elections in Kwabre West and Wulensi Constituencies with the old voters’ registration.
According to the PPP, the gap created by C.I. 72, gives the SC the original jurisdiction over the issue and not the High court that the three political parties have gone for redress, adding that the injunction granted by the High Court on July 27, this year, in respect of the case, should be set aside since it has been procured with out jurisdiction.
It is therefore requesting the SC to order the EC to immediately correct the omission the transitional provision under C.I 72 and also conduct elections in Wulensi and Kwabre West in line with the dictates of Articles 42, 45, 47 and 51 of the Constitution.
In an affidavit sworn by the National Secretary of the PPP, Mr. Kofi Asamoah-Siaw noted that in June this year, the plaintiff party was informed by the EC of a vacant seat in Parliament following the demise of the sitting MP of Wulensi Constituency, Alhaji Iddi Sani and a subsequent information of a vacant seat of Kwabre West, prompting by-elections in the two constituencies.
According to the plaintiff, the EC then set a date for the Wulensi by-election, of which it had filed a candidate for the contest only to be informed that the General Secretaries of the NPP, NDC and CPP had taken legal action against the EC and the Attorney General in the High Court and eventually procure injunction against holding the by-elections in Kwabre West and Wulensi Constituencies.
Plaintiff further noted that it has an interest in the conduct of elections by the EC and that it has realized that the issue complained of is coming from an omission in the promulgation of the C.I 72, which did not preserve the old Voters Register under C.I. 12 until the new C.I. 72 is finalized and ready to be used in the conduct of public elections.
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