The Legal Affairs Directorate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) wants the Electoral Commission to immediately withdraw the Constitutional Instrument that makes the Ghana card the only source document for continuous voter registration.
The new Constitutional Instrument that could enforce this change is in Parliament and has been referred to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament.
The opposition party’s Legal Affairs Directorate is concerned that the proposed constitutional instrument for the registration of voters by the Electoral Commission which makes the Ghana card the sole material for voter registration will disenfranchise millions of eligible Ghanaians.
It called on the Electoral Commission to “immediately withdraw the proposed C.l. since the current legal framework found in C.l. 126 is adequate for voter registration.”
It also called on the National Identification Authority to “expeditiously address challenges associated with the acquisition of the Ghana Card, such as the slow pace of registration.”
The recommendations were made at the party’s 2nd Annual Lawyers’ Conference held at the Aqua Safari in Ada from Saturday, August 27 to Monday, August 29, 2022. The conference was chaired by Betty Mould-Iddrisu and the party’s Director of Legal Affairs, Abraham Amaliba.
In attendance at the conference were former President, John Dramani Mahama, who was the Special guest, Tsatsu Tsikata, the Keynote Speaker; NDC National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo; NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah; former Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Marietta Brew; former Finance Minister; Prof. Kwesi Botchway, among other dignitaries.
Read the resolutions and recommendations below;
1. That the current economic hardship occasioned by increasing fuel prices and high inflation rates has serious implications for Ghana’s peace and security as well as justice delivery.
The Conference is therefore calling on the Nana Addo-Bawumia government to take urgent steps to address the current hardship in the country in order to safeguard our collective peace and security.
2. That the erosion in trust and the perception of corruption in the Judiciary, illustrated by several reports, including the recently released Afro barometer Survey on Ghana, is a significant cause for worry as it affects citizens’ confidence in our courts to do justice.
We hereby call on all stakeholders to support efforts to promote a truly independent judiciary that citizens and the investor community can turn to for true justice.
3. That the proposed Constitutional Instrument (“proposed Ci”) for Registration of Voters by the Electoral Commission, which makes the Ghana Card the sole identification material for registration of voters, is problematic given the difficulties citizens are going through to acquire the Ghana Card.
The Constitutional Instrument, if passed in its current state, will violate article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, as it will disenfranchise millions of eligible Ghanaians. We call on the Electoral Commission to immediately withdraw the proposed C.l. since the current legal framework found in C.l. 126 is adequate for voter registration.
4. That the National Identification Authority should expeditiously address challenges associated with the acquisition of the Ghana Card, such as the slow pace of registration, correction of errors on cards issued, and the punitive charges associated with the acquisition of the Ghana Card.
5. The current problems associated with legal education are a major source of concern and urgent measures are needed to address them immediately. We call on the Government to take all necessary steps to address these problems, particularly reforms that expand access to Professional Legal Education.
6. We reiterate the importance of providing pro bono legal services and appeal to all lawyers to continue offering pro bono services to the vulnerable.
7. We call on all lawyers to work diligently in fidelity only to sound legal principles without fear, even in the face of harassment and intimidation.