The Supreme Court has ordered the Electoral Commission to allow party agents to sign collation sheets for elections and make copies available to parties after close of polls.
A former director of research at Parliament Kwesi Nyame Tease-Eshun dragged the EC and Attorney General court late September asking it to declare as inconsistent with the Constitution and the duties of the EC, the Commission’s “failure to make provision in CI 94 requiring the Returning Officer and the contesting candidates or their representatives or counting agents to sign the Parliamentary Elections Results Collation Form and the Presidential Elections Collation Form.”
This request has been granted by a seven-member bench, presided over by Justice William Atuguba when it gave it ruling on the case on Thursday October 27, 2916 in Accra.
The Supreme Court therefore asked the Electoral Commission to allow agents to sign the collation sheets at the collation centre in the constituency and give a copy of same to the candidates.
Justice Atuguba who read the ruling on behalf of the panel directed that the EC confers with lawyers for the plaintiff to rectify the anomaly identified in the CI 94 and report back to the court for the panel to take a decision on it and make it legal.
Other reliefs sought by plaintiff include:
–A declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 42, 43,45C and 51 of the constitution, 1992, the function of the 1ST Defendant under Article 45(c) of the constitution, “to conduct and supervise all public elections and referenda” implies a duty to conduct such election in a free, fair, transparent and credible manner”.
–A declaration that, on a true and proper interpretation of Article 51 of the constitution, 1992, the power of the 1st Defendant under Article 51 by constitutional instrument to make regulation for the effective performance of its functions under the constitution or any other law implies a duty to make regulations that promote free, fair, credible and transparent elections.
–A declaration that by the combined effect of Articles 23, 45(c), 51 and 296(a) & (b) of the constitution and the core constitutional values of transparency, accountability and the rule of law (legality), the failure of the 1st Defendant to make mandatory provision in the Public Elections Regulations, 2016 (C.I.94) requiring the returning officer of the 1st Defendant to furnish the contesting parliamentary and presidential candidate, their representatives or counting agents with copies of the Parliamentary Elections-Result Collation Form, Form One E.L.23A, and Presidential Elections-Result Collation Form, Form One E.L.23B, specified in the schedule thereto, is unreasonable unfair, non-transparent and does not promote or secure free and fair elections and is accordingly inconsistent with and in contravention of Articles 23, 45 (c), 51 and 296 (a) & (b) of the constitution and the core constitutional values of transparency, accountability and the rule of law.
Meanwhile, Akoto Ampaw, counsel for the plaintiff told the media that all their reliefs were granted, which he described as a victory for democracy.
“In substance, the Supreme Court, in our view, granted all the reliefs that we were seeking and even more.
“They have directed that the collation station result form at the constituency level should all be signed by the returning officers and the agents or representatives of the candidates, both for the parliamentary and presidential elections.”
By Isaac Essel|3news.com | Ghana