Supreme Court to rule on 45 seats on Oct 24
By Ivy Benson
The Supreme Court has fixed October 24, this year, to make its final determination on the challenge made against the Constitutionality of C.I. 78 and L.I. 1983 of 2010, which created the new 45 Constituencies and electoral areas respectively.
One James Armah Amartey, has filed a suit at the Supreme Court, presided over by Justice William Attuguba, invoking its interpretative powers in determining the laws giving powers to the Minister of Local Government to create additional districts, and that giving the Electoral Commission (EC) to create new 45 Constituencies.
The rest of the panel members are Justices Date-Baah, Julius Ansah, Rose Owusu, Annin-Yeboah, Sule Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo. Cited in the suit are the EC and the Attorney General.
Mr. Ayikoi Otoo, counsel for Mr. Amartey had argued that LI 1983 of 2010 provided the Local Government Minister room to create some electoral areas against the dictate and spirit of Article 45(b) of the 1992 Constitution.
According to the counsel, L.I. 1983 of 2010, which created new districts after being laid before Parliament by the Minister of Local Government and through which the new constituencies were created, should be declared an absolute nullity.
It is the view of the plaintiff that the outcome of the December 7, 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections would be rendered invalid if LI 1983 of 2010 was not deleted.
Plaintiff noted that Article 45 (b) of the 1992 gives the EC the mandate to demarcate electoral boundaries for both national and local government elections and therefore the EC’s function had been usurped by the Minister of Local Government.
However, Counsel for the EC, Mr. James Quarshie-Idun argued that the C.I. 78 stands on its own and does not rely on the C.I. 1983 of 2010. On the part of the Attorney General, Principal State Attorney, Mr. Sylvester Williams, noted that the C.I. 78 is a valid law passed by Parliament that would be governed by the 2012 elections.
According to him, the C.I. 78 was initiated by the EC, while the L.1. 1983 was initiated by the Local Government minister, adding that the two legislations were made for separate purposes.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has adjourned to October 15, this year, to hear a case in which a businessman, Ransford France, is challenging the process followed by the EC in laying before Parliament, C.I. 73, that the latter became C.I. 78.
The adjournment followed leave sought by the parties in the case to amend their statement of case to reflect the coming into effect of C.I.78 on October 3, this year.
Also affected in this suit are the EC and the Attorney General. Mr. Joe Ghartey, counsel for the plaintiff, is seeking to challenge the legality of C.I. 78 since it is inconsistent with the Constitution.
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