Five political parties yesterday filed a suit at the Supreme Court over the Electoral Commission (EC)’s decision to restrict the upcoming limited voter registration to its district offices.
The parties are the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Convention People’s Party (CPP), All People’s Congress (APC), Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG) and the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP).
They are praying the Supreme Court for an Interlocutory Injunction, preventing the EC from proceeding with the exercise until the final determination of the substantive matter.
According to them if the number of registration centres were not increased beyond the 268 EC districts offices, many eligible voters would not be able to register and they would be disenfranchised.
The suit comes five days to the start of the exercise scheduled for September 12 to October 2, 2023, to register who have now attained the eligible voter age of 18 years or those who are qualified, but could not register during the previous exercise.
Since the EC announced the registration on August 17, various political parties including those who are joined in the suit, have called for more centres to be created.
At a press conference on August 22, seven political parties without representation in parliament, cited inconvenience to eligible voters due to the distance between their towns and EC district offices.
Including Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG) and Conven¬tion People’s Party (CPP), these parties suggested that 1,500 centres as used in the 2019 registration exercise or more should be created.
In a Facebook post, the National Communications Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi wrote: “This is only the first of a series of actions that the parties intend to take to compel the EC to conduct the impending limited voter registration exercise at the electoral area level to give all eligible voters access to the process in line with the letter and spirit of Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, Regulation 2(1)(2) of C.I 91 and the EC’s own time-tested practices.”
Meanwhile, the EC has said it was not anticipating any challenges in its decision to undertake the upcoming Limited Voter Registration exercise at its district offices across the country.
The Commission said it appreciated the concerns about accessibility of its offices in some remote communities, but it cannot vary its plans due to time constraints.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Dr Bossman Eric Asare, the Deputy Chair-in-charge of Corporate Services at the EC, said persons who may not be able to register would be offered another opportunity to do so after the District Assembly Elections.
“Currently because of the time, we cannot revise what we have. We recognise the challenges. We know there are some places in Nkwanta South, Afram Plains and in almost all the regions of our country, some of the places are so far away from the districts,” he said.