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MP urges Chief Justice to broadcast NDC vs EC case live

A member of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor has urged the Chief Justice to order the live broadcast of the case between the NDC and the Electoral Commission currently before the Supreme Court.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) sued the Electoral Commission over attempts by the electoral management body to compile a new voters’ register ahead of the 2020 general elections.

The NDC has argued in its suit that the EC lacks the power to go ahead with its plans because it can only “compile a register of voters only once, and thereafter revise it periodically, as may be determined by law”.

In a press statement, Mr Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor explained that his reason for making the request is because of the “high level of public interest” in the case.

According to the South Dayi legislator, “The outcome of this case before the Apex Court has far-reaching ramifications for every Ghanaian.”

“Having regard to the spirit that led to the live telecast of the 2012 Election Petition case in 2013 involving the current President and the Electoral Commission and HE. John Dramani Mahama, I will urge the Supreme Court (as presently constituted) to place the same interest and spirit in allowing the public to have a clear understanding of the legal proceedings that would lead to the final determination of this very important matter.”

“Indeed, my call is in consonance with the same Court’s ruling sometime in April 2013 when a similar question arose. After long drawn out arguments, the Court agreed that the Election Petition is televised live. Atuguba JSC (as he then was) delivered the ruling of the Court and stated inter alia that “elections in the country come with a lot of tension and acrimony and therefore it was proper for the proceedings to be telecast live on TV,” the press statement added.

He further indicated that “It will, therefore, be in the public interest, and would help in the public’s appreciation of the issues in dispute and the adjudication process, for the proceedings to be telecast live.”

Read the full release below

THE SUPREME COURT MUST TELECAST LIVE NDC VRS. EC CASE
____

In view of the high level of public interest in the above case before the Supreme Court, I am calling on the Chief Justice to order a Live Broadcast of proceedings in the matter in accordance with established principles and precedence.

The outcome of this case before the Apex Court has far-reaching ramifications for every Ghanaian. Having regard to the spirit that led to the live telecast of the 2012 Election Petition case in 2013 involving the current President and the Electoral Commission and HE. John Dramani Mahama, I will urge the Supreme Court (as presently constituted) to place the same interest and spirit in allowing the public to have a clear understanding of the legal proceedings that would lead to the final determination of this very important matter.

Indeed, my call is in consonance with the same Court’s ruling sometime in April 2013 when a similar question arose. After long drawn out arguments, the Court agreed that the Election Petition be televised live. Atuguba JSC (as he then was) delivered the ruling of the Court and stated inter alia that “elections in the country come with a lot of tension and acrimony and therefore it was proper for the proceedings to be telecast live on TV”.

It will, therefore, be in the public interest and would help in the public’s appreciation of the issues in dispute and the adjudication process, for the proceedings to be telecast live.

The general public has discussed this issue with varied interests on the matter. Understanding that various discussants have their unique appreciation of the matter, and having an understanding of the Court’s ability to look critically into the matter and to make a determination that reflects the collective interest of the general public, I believe carrying the public along from beginning to the end of this matter in a live telecast, would take away any form of doubts that some individuals may hold.

This matter is simply too critical to be heard on the blind side of the people.

I believe that the Court is well equipped with the necessary protocols to handle this matter in the clear view of the media without prejudice.

I call on the Chief Justice to consider this and to make the needed efforts aimed at allowing the public the opportunity to be part of this adjudication process.

Signed:
Rockson-Nelson EK. Dafeamekpor, Esq.
MP: South Dayi
Member: Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, and the Judiciary Committees of Parliament of Ghana.

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