Political parties have welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling ordering the Electoral Commission to create a portion on the collation forms for all parties including returning officers to append their signatures after results are collated.
While the People’s National Convention (PNC) believes the move will ensure a free and fair elections, the NPP is of the view that the Court’s ruling will promote transparency.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, the Director of Election for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Mr.Martin Adjei Korsah argued that the ruling means that the returning officers will be made known and be required to take responsibility for possible anomalies that might characterise the general polls.
“The Supreme Court ruling means that the people who are going to be the returning officers handling the presidential results at the collation centre are not faceless. Indeed we know them and their signatures are required and so are the agents. This ruling will not give an opportunity for people to be responsible for any untoward act that may happen ….”
The General Secretary of the PNC , Atik Mohammed also commend the Court’s ruling, saying “it is in order.”
“This ruling in my opinion is something that we should all be excited about and let me also commend the person who initiated the action in court. It is something that we must all commend. It is something that is going to add to the transparency of this process so for me it is a good ruling and an acceptable ruling …It holds the prospects of deepening our multiparty democracy and deepening the confidence that we all ought to have in this process.”
The Justices also asked the EC to provide all candidates and their representatives a copy of the signed collated results at the various collation centres.
The order follow a suit by a private legal practitioner, Kwesi Nyame-Tsease Eshun.
To avoid another election petition, an Accra-based legal practitioner filed a writ against the EC and the Attorney-General (AG) at the Supreme Court.
The plaintiff, Mr. Kwesi Nyame-Tsease Eshun, was seeking the true and proper interpretation of articles 42, 43, 45 (C) and 51 of the 1992 Constitution, especially Article 45 (C) which mandates the Commission “to conduct and supervise all public elections and referenda,” implying that a duty bestowed on the EC to conduct such elections in a free, fair, transparent and credible manner.
The plaintiff also asked the Supreme Court to declare that “the failure of the EC to make clear provisions in C.l. 94, prescribing the detailed steps that the returning officer at the Constituency Collation Centre shall methodically take to collate the total valid votes cast for each of the contesting presidential candidates, and to enter same in the relevant forms, namely, the Certificate to be endorsed on the Writ, Form One E.L. 1 B and Presidential Elections-Result Collation Form.”
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana