Court orders EC to register NDC parliamentary candidate for Cape Coast North

An Accra high court has ordered the Electoral Commission (EC) to register the Parliamentary Candidate for Cape Coast North, Dr Kwamena Mintah Nyarku.

This follows an application of mandamus filed at the high court to compel the EC to register him after a Cape Coast high court, he appealed to said his constitutional right to register has not been destroyed.

On July 16 this year, during the EC’s voters’ registration exercise, Dr Mintah Nyarku went to register at the Nkanfoa polling station but he was challenged on grounds that the house number he produced did not belong to him.

The electoral body said he did not satisfy the ordinarily resident and permanent resident conditions that qualify someone to register in a particular electoral area.

The EC subsequently withdrew his card. The District Registration Review Committee ordered the Commission to continue keeping the card of the candidate.

Following that, the candidate exercised his right to appeal with the Chief Registration Review Officer at the Cape Coast High Court.

Dr Nyarku lost the appeal subsequently but the court presided over by Mrs Patience Mills-Tetteh stated explicitly that his right to register and to vote has not been curtailed.

The court further stated that the candidate could in fact, register in the electoral area his residence is properly located.

Lawyer for the candidate, Godwin Kudzo Tameklo filed an order of mandamus at the Accra High Court directed at the EC to register the applicant as a voter on the basis that the applicant has met the constitutional requirements under Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

The affidavit filed by the candidate indicated that the Chief Registration Review Officer in Cape Coast, notwithstanding dismissing his appeal, clearly indicated in her decision at page 12 that the candidate’s right to register and to vote had not been curtailed.

Based on the conclusions by the Chief Registration Review Officer, and in accordance with article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, he applied to the EC demanding to be registered as a voter at the Pedu electoral area where he is resident and was raised there.

He further stated that the EC, however, has failed or neglected to register him even though the Chief Registration Officer had indicated that he could be registered once his “residence is properly located”.

The candidate further averred that he’s been advised by his lawyer that he stands to suffer enormously as a Parliamentary candidate in the unlikely event that he’s not registered as a voter since a person can only contest and become a Member of Parliament if he is a registered voter within the meaning of article 94 (1)(a) which states that: “Subject to the provisions of this article, a person shall not be qualified to be a member of parliament unless- (a) he is a citizen of Ghana, has attained the age of twenty-one years and is a registered voter”.

The High Court on Tuesday issued a writ of mandamus compelling the EC to register him since no court of competent jurisdiction has barred the candidate from registering.

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