NDC tells the EC that limited voter registration is illegal.

NDC - Rapid News GH

The decision of the Electoral Commission (EC) to begin the limited voter registration operation in its district offices notwithstanding the ongoing interlocutory injunction by four political parties has been criticized as “unlawful and unreasonable” by the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The party believed that the EC’s actions not only violated Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, which required that every person register and vote in public elections, but also provided a means of voter suppression.

At a press conference yesterday, NDC Chairman Johnson Asiedu Nketiah added that the restriction of the registration process to the EC’s district offices further violated Article 45(e) of the Constitution, which required the EC to engage in activities that would increase voter registration.

“The EC is violating the Constitution if they purposefully organize a voter registration exercise in a way that restricts access,” he stated.

Citing Regulation 2(2)(b) of C.I. 91 (Amended by C.I. 126) as the law governing voter registration centers, he claimed that in order to qualify as a registration center, a location had to be both suitable for use as a polling place and easily accessible to potential applicants.

The district offices are not fit for use as polling places, so the EC’s voter registration effort does not comply with these requirements, he claimed.

Supreme Court

The NDC Chairman then turned his focus to the Supreme Court, saying it was concerning that the highest court in the land had not heard the injunction request against the EC that had been made by the NDC, Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Convention People’s Party (CPP), All People’s Congress (APC), and Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP).

He argued that the lawsuit’s delayed hearing was inappropriate because it was bad for the nation’s constitutional democracy.

Despite opposing the EC’s action, the NDC Chairman continued, that the party would fully engage in it and make sure that there was no manipulation.

Registration blues

He claimed that initial inspections of the registration procedure on the first day had revealed a variety of difficulties around the nation.

For instance, he said that 90% of the registration centers were unable to perform the start-of-day printout necessary to ascertain whether certain individuals had already been pre-registered in the system.

Again, he said that most venues did not begin the registration procedure at the announced hour of 7 a.m., with some starting as late as midday.

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