The Electoral Commission (EC) on Monday filed an application at the High Court for extension of time to enable it to comply with Court’s order to operationalizes the Representative of the Peoples Amendment Act (ROPAA) (2006) Act 699 by December 17, 2018.
Counsel for five plaintiffs, lawyer Samson Lardy Ayenini told the court that his clients have been served with the application for the extension of time, of which they have responded with an affidavit in opposition filed on February 11, 2019.
The applicants are Kofi A. Boateng, Nellie Kemevor, Obed Danquah, Christiana Sillim and Agyenim Boateng, all residents in New York State and Kentucky in the United States of America.
This action follows a December 17, 2017 order by the Court directed at the Commission to implement ROPAA within 12 months.
The EC by its request for extension of time is praying the court to allow it another one year to fully operationalize the 12-year old law that made it legal for Ghanaians living abroad to vote in elections in Ghana.
Counsel for the Commission, Justice Amevor in an attempt to move the motion was asked, whether his client being the Commission have been served with the affidavits in opposition of which he answered in the affirmative.
The court then adjourned the matter to March 21, for the application to be heard.
The applicants who are all members of the Progressive Alliance Movement (PAM) a New York State incorporated non-profit organization are seeking from the Court “a declaration that the applicants have fundamental human rights under Articles 17(2), 42 and 33(5), of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, ROPAA Act 2006 [Act 699].
They also have rights under Article 13 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Article 25 of The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Protocol 1 (article 3) of the European Convention on Human Rights
They are also seeking to be registered as voter[s] while resident abroad and being outside the jurisdiction of the Republic of Ghana, and doing so from/at their places of residence abroad or designated centres close to their places of residence abroad or from/at the Ghana Mission/Embassy within their jurisdiction abroad.
The applicants are seeking to be issued with voters Identity Cards to enable them to vote in public elections and referenda while resident abroad and being outside the jurisdiction of the Republic of Ghana at the time of such elections.
They are also seeking a declaration that the non-compliance of the Commission in particular to operationalize the Act 699, since same became law on the 24th day of February 2006 is a breach of the applicants’ fundamental human rights under the various laws and legal instruments