The Supreme Court today [Tuesday] delivered a landmark ruling in the case of Abu Ramadan & Anor v. the Electoral Commission & the Attorney General.
The applicants were seeking the nullification of the current voters’ register and other consequential orders. Here are seven take-aways from the Court’s ruling.
1. The current voters’ register is not credible for the purposes of elections because persons who had previously registered using National Health Insurance Cards as proof of eligibility are on the roll, as well as names of deceased persons and minors.
2. The register, in its entirety, is not invalid since it was compiled under law at the time of its compilation.
3. The Electoral Commission must take immediate steps to clean the current voters’ registered.
4. It must also make provisions for the re-registration of eligible persons whose names would have otherwise been deleted through the cleaning process.
5. The Electoral Commission is an independent body created under the law, whose actions are not subject to the direction of any external controls.
6. However, acts of the Commission which may be considered as in excess of the powers granted them by the laws of Ghana are subject to judicial review.
7. The Commission is not bound by the decisions, or inputs, of the citizenry, or any groups as the case may be.
In the light of this judgement, therefore, the EC must clean up the voters’ register, albeit under its own rules and procedures. The ruling also reinforces the independence of the Electoral Commission.