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Court orders EC to register NDC Cape Coast North parliamentary candidate Dr Minta Nyarku

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The Accra High Court has ordered the Electoral Commission (EC) to register as a voter the National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate for Cape Coast North, Dr. Kwamina Minta Nyarku, who was disqualified from registering in the voter registration exercise.

In a ruling delivered Tuesday, (September 22, 2020), the court, presided over by Justice Stephen Oppong, issued an order of mandamus compelling the EC to register the politician on the basis that he had not been barred from registering as a voter by a court.

“It is hereby ordered that a writ of mandamus be issued compelling the respondent (EC) to register the applicant (Dr Nyarku) as he has not been barred by any court of competent jurisdiction from registering,” the court held.

The court gave the ruling after it upheld a judicial review application filed by the legal team of the politician led by Mr Godwin Tamaklo.

Registration withheld

During the voter registration exercise, Dr Nyarku registered at the Nkanfoa Electoral Area in Cape Coast and was duly issued with a voter ID card.

However, his registration was challenged on the basis that he was not a resident of the electoral area, leading the EC to direct him to hand over the voter ID card until the completion of the challenge process.

The District Registration Review Committee upheld the challenge, which subsequently Mr Nyarku appealed to the Chief Registration Review Officer of Cape Coast North, but the appeal was dismissed.

Judicial review

Dr Nyarku then marched to the High Court with a judicial review application on the grounds that his right to be registered as a voter as guaranteed under Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution could not be curtailed because of a challenge on his residency.

Per Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, “every citizen of Ghana of eighteen years of age or above or of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda.”

He argued that his chances of becoming a Member of Parliament would be severely hampered if he was not registered as a voter because per Article 94 (1)(a) of the 1992 Constitution, a person is not qualified to be MP unless“ he is a citizen of Ghana, has attained the age of 21 and is a registered voter.”

“That in the interest of justice and in giving effect to my constitutional right as a citizen of Ghana to be registered as a voter, I pray that the honourable court compels the respondent (EC) to register me as a voter”, he argued in his affidavit in support.

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