Former President, John Dramani Mahama, has criticised the Registrar of the Supreme Court over his inability to set a date for hearing an application for interlocutory injunction to restrain the Electoral Commission (EC) from proceeding with the announced limited voter registration exercise pending the final determination of a suit challenging the EC on the venues to use for the exercise.
In a Facebook post, Mr Mahama wrote, “Contrary to the time-honoured practice of the Registrar of the Supreme Court giving dates for the applications to be moved, the registrar has, as of this afternoon, refused to provide a date for the application for interlocutory injunction filed against the EC in relation to the Commission’s decision to limit the upcoming voter registration exercise to its district offices only.
“As I write, the applicants’ representatives are still waiting at the registry of the Supreme Court.
This is unprecedented and does not augur well for public confidence in the justice delivery system,” the former President wrote.
Five political parties last Thursday went to the Supreme Court in a bid to get the EC to add electoral areas to its district offices as registration centres for the limited voter registration exercise.
That was after the EC announced in August this year its decision to limit the registration exercise to its district offices.
In a suit invoking the original jurisdiction of the apex court, the parties — the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the All People’s Congress (APC), Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG) and the Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP), are of the view that limiting the exercise to the EC’s district offices will not be suitable and accessible to every Ghanaian who is desirous of exercising his or her constitutional right to be registered as a voter.
They, therefore, filed an application for interlocutory injunction to restrain the EC from proceeding with the announced limited voter registration exercise pending the final determination of the substantive matter.
As part of their reliefs, the parties, among others, are asking the Supreme Court to declare that upon a true and proper interpretation of Articles 42 and 45 (a) and (e) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and Regulation 2 sub-regulation 2(a) and (b) and Regulation 30(1) of the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations 2016 – (C.I. 91) (as amended by C.I 126), the EC shall designate registration centres that are suitable and accessible to every eligible Ghanaian who is desirous of exercising his or her constitutional right to be registered as a voter.
They are also asking the court to declare that upon a true and proper interpretation of the above provisions in the 1992 Constitution, the EC’s decision to undertake the limited voter registration at its district offices would result in voter suppression, hence unconstitutional since it will violate first-time voters’ right to vote.