Former Executive Secretary to President John Mahama, Dr. Raymond Atuguba has given an unsolicited advice to the Electoral Commission (EC) to issue an announcement asking people to submit evidence to help them delete undesirable names from the electoral roll.
The law lecturer says the EC do not have such powers to automatically, delete names of ineligible persons from the voters’ register.Ghanapoliticsonline.com
The deletion of names of persons who do not qualify to be on the register, he explained should be carried out legally. Dr. Raymond Atuguba explained, should the EC delete undesirable names from the register , without laid down legal requirements, they may be acting illegally.
”If you clean that register other than in a manner provided by law, you will acting illegally. And the EC cannot act illegally.
” The Supreme Court’s ruling in the case involving Abu Ramadan & Evans Nimako vrs The Electoral Commission & The Attorney-General, is still on the table for discussion as it still remains unclear whether the court specifically ordered the EC to delete names of NHIS card holders who registered in 2012. The EC says although it welcomes the ruling by the Supreme Court, it will not delete names of persons who registered with NHIS cards but the plaintiffs Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako believes the Commission is in contempt of court. However, Dr. Atuguba says the court did not give such orders. He said,
“first thing is that the Court ordered that the register should be cleaned and by cleaning the Court meant that people whose names should not be on the register should be taken out.” Dr. Raymond Atuguba
speaking on Newsfile on the controversies surrounding the ruling of the Supreme Court. The Court ordered “That the Electoral Commission takes steps immediately to delete or as is popularly known ‘clean” the current register of voters to comply with the provisions of the 1992 Constitution, and applicable laws of Ghana.” Dr. Atuguba said,
“The court did not order that they should be automatically taken out and the Court did not order that they should be struck down.” Dr Atuguba said the Court declined primarily because it is inappropriate for a court to “over meddle in the internal functioning of an independent constitutional body. It is not only inappropriate, it is impracticable for the Supreme Court to watch over the functioning of the Electoral Commission on a day-by-day basis.” Ghanapoliticsonline.com
According to him, CI 91 is clear on how the EC can carry out the deletion of undesirable names and that they cannot do it unilaterally.
”The EC cannot unilaterally delete names, because CI 91 has a procedure, where the person whose name is about to be deleted, can protect his right vote. To the extent that, that process exist. The process is not unilateral.
” The deletion of names he explained ”involves two mechanisms. Either a voter comes and says, i object to this name,”Ghanapoliticsonline.com
because the person is ineligible, or an EC official says; and that is why my advice to the EC is to send out a notice saying to the people of Ghana, if you have information about the names of people who shouldn’t be on the register, including NHIS registrants, bring them. And even if you as an individual cannot go through the procedure of deleting them, we at the EC will do it.”