Wednesday, July 18, 2012

EC taken to court over new constituencies

July 10, 2012 (Page 20) A BUSINESSMAN, Mr. Ransford France, has dragged the Electoral Commission (EC) to the Supreme Court over its intention to create new constituencies. He is challenging the power of the E. C. to go ahead with the creation of new constituencies without first laying before Parliament, a constitutional instrument indicating clearly the mechanism, formula or modalities by which it intended to undertake that exercise. The Attorney-General has been joined to the suit, which was filed on behalf of the plaintiff by his lawyer, Mr. Godfred Yeboah Dame on July 6, 2012. The reliefs being sought by the Supreme Court include a declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Articles 23, 51 and 296 (c), the EC, in the exercise of its functions and discretionary power in creating new constituencies, was required to make by Constitutional Instrument, regulations not inconsistent with the Constitution or any other law to govern the exercise of its discretionary power. The plaintiff is praying for an order to compel the EC to adhere to rules set out in the 1992 Constitution in its bid to create new constituencies. He is also pleading with the court to uphold that failure by on the part of the EC to make the Constitutional Instrument referred to was a breach of the fundamental human rights of all eligible voters. The court is also being invited to perpetually restrain the EC from laying before Parliament any Constitutional Instrument creating new constituencies and or revoking the Representation of the People (Parliamentary Constituencies) Instrument, 2004 [C.I. 46], until it lays before Parliament a Constitutional Instrument which clearly sets out the processes to be adopted by the EC. The plaintiff also prayed the court to restrain the EC from carrying out its intention of creating new districts until the hearing and final determination of the matter. A date is yet to be fixed for hearing of the matter.

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