The Supreme Court has ordered the Electoral Commission(EC) of Ghana to extend close of nomination period from today Monday, November 07, 2016 to tomorrow Tuesday, November 08, 2016.
The ruling read by Justice Sophia Adinyira, the presiding judge is to enable all the disqualified candidates to correct errors on their nomination forms.
The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, threw out the EC’s suit challenging an High court ruling asking them to allow the PPP’s presidential candidate Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom to correct his nomination form errors.
A seven-member panel in the Monday ruling asked the commission to extend the nomination period to November 8, 2016 to give room for the other candidates to correct their mistakes in order to contest in the December polls.
The court also ordered the discontinuation of the various court cases regarding the disqualification of other presidential aspirants.
The EC disqualified several presidential candidates from the December polls for various errors detected in their nomination forms.
Supreme Court’s Directive:
The Supreme Court mindful of the importance that elections should be concluded as early as possible according to time schedule and the limited time available for the Applicant to complete processes prior to the printing of presidential ballot papers and collation sheets etc, and in order to ensure prevalence of justice equity and fairness in the election process we thereby proceed to give the following directives while taking judicial notice of the plethora of cases pending in various High Courts with similar claims and cause of action:
1. The EC is to extend the nomination period from today Monday 7 November 2016 to the close of working day of Tuesday 8 November 2016.
2. Invite all the disqualified presidential candidates who were able to submit their nomination papers by the close of the nomination day of 30 October 2016.
3. To give the candidates a hearing within the extended period.
4. In appropriate cases, to afford candidates, the opportunity to comply with regulation 9 (2) (b)
5. The EC to declare the names of candidates so nominated per regulations 7, 8, and 9 of CI. 94; by the close of working day of Wednesday 9 November 2016.
6. Balloting of positions of candidates to take place the next day by the close of working day of Thursday 10 November.
7. As a result of the above directives, we find it necessary to make a consequential order to stay all court proceedings against the Applicant in relation to disqualification of pending in the High Court, to enable the EC to carry out its mandate;
8. We accordingly stay all proceedings in the High Court as aforesaid.