Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ghana: Supreme Court clarifies verdict on voter roll

A member of the seven-member Supreme Court panel that ruled on the legality or otherwise of NHIS registrants on the voters register Justice Jones Dotse has said the apex court was forthright in its directive for names of such registrants to be taken off the register by the Electoral Commission.

According to him, the ruling was not ambiguous and indicated the illegality of NHIS registrants on the register.

“ I don’t want to interpret the judgment but as you heard it, the Supreme Court was quite forthright and clear that the use of NHIS cards is unconstitutional because the criteria for the NHIS was not based on Ghanaians citizenship but only on residents in Ghana.

“So a foreigner who is resident in Ghana for six months and more can register under the NHIS and that was the basis for our decision in 2014 and the recent one we said the use of the NHIS cards is therefore unconstitutional, they should take the opportunity to clean the register of those undesirable persons.

"Therefore we also do not want to disenfranchise anybody so the Supreme Court went on to say anybody who will be affected by that exercise must be given the opportunity to register according to the law and the constitution,” he told journalists in an interview Thursday.

The comments of the judge come on the back of the confusion that has heralded the ruling of the highest court regarding the electoral roll.

While the EC says its understanding of the judgment does not point to the deletion of the NHIS registrants, the plaintiffs claim the court gave express directive to the election management body to cleanse the register.

Source:Ghana/ Acheampong

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