Communications Director of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akomea, says the Electoral Commission has so far performed abysmally in building integrity into its processes leading to the November polls.
He said the elections governing body has been tardy, lethargic and disinterested in ensuring that the elections are conducted on a clean, credible register.
Nana Akomea was contributing to discussions on the seeming tensions between the EC and the Supreme Court on Joy FM and MultiTV’s news analysis programme, Newsfile.
The Highest Court of the land this week had some harsh words for the EC when it ordered the production of the full list of voters who used the National Health Insurance Cards as a proof of citizenship to register to vote.
The Court had in a 2014 judgment on a case brought by then PNC Youth Organiser, Abu Ramadan, declared the use of the NHI Card unconstitutional. It held that the card was not sufficient proof of a person’s citizenship.
Subsequently, on May 5, 2016, the Court in another case brought by the same Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako, ordered the immediate deletion of the names of persons who registered with the card and an opportunity given them to register properly.
The judgment was subjected to conflicting interpretations warranting a return to the court by the plaintiffs for clarification.
The EC’s dithering on implementing the orders of the Court on the May 5 judgment appeared to anger the five justices who said the Court would not sit by and allow the Commission plunge Ghana into chaos.
It ordered the EC to, within six days, produce the full list of NHIS Card registrants, as well as guidelines on how to comply with the order to delete the names.
Pro-opposition group, Let My Vote Count Alliance is raising issues with the ability of the EC to comply with the Court’s order to compile the list of NIH card registrants.
Its Convener, David Asante, told Newsfile that some officials of the EC had admitted the commission could not trace the names of the NHI Card registrants.
He said the EC hasn’t demonstrated good faith because whilst it had been telling the court one thing, it was telling plaintiffs quite another during conferences.
Nana Akomea agrees
“The Electoral Commission’s record as far as cleaning the register in time for the 2016 elections has been appalling, very appalling; from the way they treated the NPP’s petition where they said they on their own could not get the Togolese register and the other issues that were raised by the NPP were simply just dismissed without any effort to go into the merits of the case,” he said, referring to the NPP’s claims amongst others that some 76,000 Togolese were on Ghana’s electoral roll.
Nana Akomea claimed the EC had also treated with scant regard, the recommendations of its own Panel of Experts.
“Look at the way they’ve treated the Supreme Court rulings; In May 2014 when the Supreme Court ruled that the use of the of the NHIS cards was illegal, unconstitutional…you would have thought that a responsible constitutional body like the EC would have sought from the court, the precise intentions and proceed accordingly [but] since 2014 there was no action, no response from the Electoral Commission, then the plaintiffs had to go back to the court to seek…more definite orders,” he said.