General News of Saturday, 28 February 2015
The Supreme Court decision ordering the suspension of the district level elections process is the result of arrogance and disregard for due process by the Electoral Commission (EC), says outspoken newspaper editor, Malik Kwaku Baako Jnr.
“This [suspension of the elections] is just a classic example of some institutional arrogance and impunity. It ought not to have come to this point because the EC was advised ahead of time”, said the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper.
Kwaku Baako was speaking on Newsfile, news analysis programme on Joy FM and Joy News Channel on Multi TV, Saturday.
The Supreme Court on Friday February 27, 2015 declared the district level election unconstitutional, compelling the EC to suspend activities towards the March 3 poll.
The Court further ordered the EC to re-demarcate electoral boundaries for the elections, in accordance with CI 85.
Kwaku Baako said although the EC has done a good job over the years, it has been unnecessarily arrogant in some instances.
The EC had earlier been warned severally that its preparations were illegal, but the elections ombudsman ignored the warnings.
Kwaku Baako says preventing the matter from going to court should have been the smart decision taken by the EC.
The newspaper editor is not only unhappy about the EC’s conduct with its preparations towards the district level elections, he is also appalled by the poor show by the EC’s legal team in court.
“The EC’s legal team had consistently changed its position. It comes with some other legislation that it is using to back it [the preparations]; when it is thrown out it comes up with a different one. Pathetic”, he said.
The Genesis of opposition
After completing and submitting his forms on Monday, December 22, 2014, Benjamin Eyi Mensah, Assemblyman aspirant for Efutu in the Central Region was told that the filing of nominations closed on Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 5pm.
The aggrieved aspirant then went to the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court and obtained a favourable judgment.
Patronage at the local level elections has usually been low. But with increased advertisement on radio and TV, it was expected that turn-out this year would be better.
From the ruling, low voter turn-outs would be the least of the EC’s concerns. The Commission said in a statement issued in Accra that, “In view of the Supreme Court’s decision in the matter of Benjamin Eyi Mensah v The Electoral Commission, on Friday, 27th February 2015, with regard to the maturity of C.I 85, the District Level Elections and all activities connected with them have been suspended forthwith until further notice.”