Supreme Court dismisses special voting suit

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The Supreme Court has dismissed a suit filed by Amoako Tuffuor and other seeking an early declaration of special voting results.

President of the five-member panel hearing the case, Justice William Atuguba said a declaration of the results of special voting could prejudice the results of the general elections

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

The vote is cast by some essential service categories including security forces and journalists. It is to allow the selected professionals who play a key role on election day to exercise their enfranchise.

The votes are cast on December 1 but the ballot boxes are sealed and only counted on election day, December 7.

But a retired lecturer Dr Kwame Amoako Tuffour who is an elder of the main opposition, an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practitioner Benjamin Arthur, and a pensioner Adreba Abrefa Damoa challenged the legality of this arrangement.

They wanted the court to order the counting of the ballot in accordance with Article 49 of the 1992 constitution which states that;

“Immediately after the close of the poll, the presiding officer shall, in the presence of such of the candidates or their representatives and their polling agents as are present, proceed to count, at that polling station, the ballot papers of that station and record the votes cast in favour of each candidate or question.”.

They argued that if special voting can be categorised as a public election then the results need to be counted there and then.

The plaintiffs prayed that the court strikes down  Public Elections Regulation 23 (11) of CI94 which is a regulation that lays out the processes for special voting.

The three argue that the regulation  goes against Article 49 of the 1992 constitution and and Section 13 of the Representation of the People Law, 1992, PNDCL 284.

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