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Mosquito: Election 2016 SC Case Much Ado About Nothing

The recent suits against the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana concerning individuals who used National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards to register as voters was a waste of time, General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia has said on Thursday July 7.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday July 5 ordered the EC to implement the orders it gave on May 5 this year regarding voters who got registered by using NHIS cards as national ID.

In that ruling, connected to a suit filed by a former National Youth Organiser of the People’s National Convention (PNC) and one Evans Nimako, against the EC, the Supreme Court directed the election management body to delete from the register of voters the names of the dead, minors, as well as all voters who registered using their NHIS cards. The same court had ruled almost two years ago that the NHIS cards were invalid for voter registration.

But the ruling was given several interpretations. The EC had said after the May 5 ruling that after a cursory look at the directive, it was convinced that the court did not instruct it to delete the names of NHIS card holders who used such cards to get registered onto the electoral roll.

But the plaintiffs went back to the court for further clarification, following which the EC was instructed to submit to the court the list of all voters who registered using NHIS documents.

The EC complied by submitting a list of 56,000 names to the court on July 4, 2016, which paved the way for it to rule on the matter on Tuesday July 5.

Radioxyzonline reporter Stephen Obeng, who was in court, reported that the highest court of the land “has ordered that the EC should take immediate steps to implement the court decision in the May 5 ruling and to also delete the names that were sent to the court as persons who registered onto the register of voters with NHIS IDs as well as take steps to delete names that were not submitted to the court but were also found to have registered with the NHIS card”.

But Mr Nketia has said that: “This issue has been much ado about nothing. Just calculate the margin of error [with the list of 56,000 presented by EC in relation to the total voters] and you will see whether it was important to spend the time we spent [on the court case]; in my view it was not.”

He revealed that all discussions between the EC with representatives from various political parties at the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) level that seeks “to get a consensus on the issue has been wonderful so I am sure they [EC] will call us and we will look at the way forward”.

“In my opinion, I will suggest that with the list the EC has compiled, they should disaggregate it to the various polling stations and prepare a list of the affected people,” he added in an interview on Joy News’ The Pulse.

Source: radioxyzonline.com

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