EC suspends limited voters registration indefinitely due to injunction

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The Electoral Commission (EC) has suspended the 2019 limited voters registration exercise until further notice.

It follows an application  filed by a private citizen Umar Ayuba at the Supreme Court seeking for an injunction to stop the Electoral Commission from going ahead with the limited voter registration which was scheduled to begin from June 7-27.

This particular injunction follows a substantive suit filed by the same individual challenging the decision by the EC to hold the registration in its district offices and some selected electoral areas.

In a statement by the EC, it said the suspension has become necessary pending the final determination of the law suit.

“The Electoral Commission wishes to announce for the information of the general that in view of pending in view of a pending injunction seeking to restrain the Commission from holding the Limited Voters Registration Exercise slated  for the 7th of June to the 27th of June, 2019, the upcoming registration exercise has been put on hold until further notice. “

It further indicated that a new date will be made known in due course.

“The Commission will announce a new date shortly.  Any inconvenience is deeply regretted”, the statement added.

According to the plaintiff, the directive by the EC is unconstitutional and without legal basis.

The EC per is expected to begin the registration on June 7 in readiness for the local elections and referendum scheduled for December.

Already, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is resisting attempts by the EC to conduct the exercise.

According to the NDC, the move was not part of the issues upheld during the last Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held in March.

The General Secretary of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketia said the NDC “differed very strongly” on the matter and is “opposed to any system of registration that will be limited to the district offices of the EC.”

The party insists that the EC must stick to the decentralisation of the exercise up to the electoral area levels instead of the 260 districts offices.

Reliefs

The plaintiff wants the court to among other things, declare that upon a true and proper interpretation of articles 42, 45(a), 45 (e) and 17 of the 1992 Constitution, the decision of the EC to undertake the 2019 limited voter registration online at its district offices, instead of places designated by law, is unwarranted and a disproportionate burden on first-time voters, especially in rural constituencies such as Daboya-Mankarigu.

He further wants the apex court to hold that the EC’s decision is unreasonable and an arbitrary exercise of its discretionary power in relation to voter registration.

The plaintiff wants the court to order the EC to undertake the 2019 limited voter registration exercise in the manner prescribed by law in order to avoid altogether or minimise the suppression of votes, particularly in the rural constituencies of the country.

Ayuba is also praying the court to order the EC and its agents to desist from destroying any and all documents and records relating to the 2018 limited voter registration exercise the EC conducted until the final determination of this suit.

Source: citinewsroom.com