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No declaration of special voting as SC dismisses case

The Electoral Commission (EC) will in the 2016 elections go by its norm of not announcing Special Voting results as the Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit which seeks an order to compel the EC to declare the results on the same day.

According to the Supreme Court justices, led by Justice William Atuguba, the suit being sought by the plaintiffs were not in agreement with the 1992 Constitution. The five-member panel also said the end of the special voting cannot be considered as end of polls and can therefore not be announced.

Other members of the panel are Mr. Justice Anin Yeboah, Mr. Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Mr. Justice Jones Dotse, and Mr. Justice A.A. Benin.

A member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Kwame Amoako-Tuffuor sued the Commission at the apex court seeking an order that will compel the EC to count and declare outcome of special voting separately.

Dr. Amoako Tufour, joined by two other Ghanaians, Benjamin Arthur and Adreba Abrefa Damoa questioned section 23 of C.I. 94, which regulates the conduct of the forthcoming polls saying it is inconsistent with Article 49 of the 1992 constitution.

According to the C.I. 94, the returning officer shall at the end of the special voting:
Ensure that the ballot boxes are kept in safe custody after the poll has closed;
Ensure that the ballot boxes are sealed with the seals of the Commission and any candidates who wish to add their seal; and
Arrange for the ballot boxes to be opened at the time of the counting of the votes cast on the polling day and the ballot papers shall be counted in the same manner as those contained in the ballot boxes used on the polling day.

Meanwhile, Special voting is expected to be held on December 1 with about 65,000 voters made up of security personnel and the media. It will begin at 7:00am and end at 5:00pm at various polling stations across the country.

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