The Electoral Commission has said it will on Wednesday, June 29, comply with an order by the Supreme Court asking it to provide the full list of voters who registered onto the electoral roll, ahead of the 2012 elections, using the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) card, as proof of Ghanaian citizenship.
The Supreme Court’s six-day ultimatum expires tomorrow [Wednesday], and the Commission says it is ready to meet the deadline.
The Commission has however given the assurance that the controversy surrounding the deletion of the NHIS card registrants from the register, will not disrupt the 2016 election calendar.
The apex court in issuing the order, also directed the Commission to furnish it with written details of the steps and modalities being adopted to delete the names of all undesirable persons on the electoral roll.
The Supreme Court had prior to this, ruled that the use of NHIS cards as proof of citizenship in registering voters was unconstitutional.
We would have cleaned register during Exhibition
Speaking to Accra-based Unique FM, the Assistant Head in Charge of Communications at the EC, Yussif Ayuba, gave assurances that the Commission will meet the Supreme Court’s Wednesday deadline.
Mr. Yussif also noted that, the EC already had plans to clean the voters’ register during the exhibition exercise in July.
According to him, “We [EC] are just waiting for the ruling of the court and then we will know the next action to take, but as to whether we are late or we are not late, we were supposed to have done all these things during the exhibition exercise which will come off next month [July].”
Mr. Yussif stated further that, the EC is working ” very hard to meet the deadline come the 29th on Wednesday. We are working very hard and we hope to provide the court with what they requested us to provide them with.”
The Supreme Court court on May 5, asked the EC to expunge from the current voters’ register the names of all persons who registered and voted in the 2012 elections, with NHIS cards as a proof of identity.
The ruling followed a suit filed by Abu Ramadan, and one, Evans Nimako, who in 2014 won a lawsuit that barred the use of NHIS cards for registration.
The two, among other reliefs, wanted the current register to be declared inappropriate for the November polls.
But the EC after studying the ruling said it’s understanding does not suggest the use of any new process to delete the names of those who registered with NHIS cards, since there are already laid down procedures for expunging ineligible names.
The EC’s explanation however angered Mr. Ramadan who felt the Commission was disrespecting the explicit orders of the court.
His position was further strengthened when one of the judges who gave the May 5 ruling, stated categorically that the ruling was clear and unambiguous and that the EC must remove the names of persons who registered with the NHIS card.
He subsequently got the Supreme Court to issue the six-day ultimatum to the Commission, after he returned to the panel to seek clarity on the previous ruling.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana