District level elections in limbo over suit but EC denies receiving writ

The Electoral Commission says it has not received any writ seeking to annul the organisation of the District Assembly Elections which is slated for March 3, 2015.

The elections are in limbo following a writ filed by Alexander Afenyo Markins acting for and on behalf of one Benjamin Eyi Mensah of Winneba.

According to the plaintiff, the Electoral commission opened and closed nominations when the Constitutional Instrument (CI) 85 was not in force thereby rendering the exercise unconstitutional and of no legal effect.

Eyi Mensah averred that he was denied an opportunity to file his nomination and contest in the election despite meeting all conditions to be registered as a candidate because the EC closed nomination before the maturation of CI 85.

His lawyer Afenyo Markins told Joy News it is their duty to ensure that the EC follows the due process of law in the execution of its mandate.

He has dismissed assertions that the action being taken by his client is to scuttle the upcoming elections.

He argued the EC “performs very sensitive constitutional duty” and must not take things lightly.

Afenyo Markins said the EC and the Attorney General have been duly served but refused to argue the merits and demerits of the case on radio.

When asked why his client did not file his nomination within the time frame advertised by the EC, the lawyer said his client “had paid his taxes, filled his forms and was awaiting the passage of the CI to enable him submit. To his surprise the EC closed nominations on Sunday the 21st December at 5:00 pm and on Monday when he went there to submit his forms he was told that he could not [do so].”

He stated per the Supreme Court ruling in Dr Apaak’s case, a CI instrument only comes into force after the mandatory 21 sitting days of Parliament.

He said even if Parliament had sat throughout the period the CI was brought to Parliament it would still not have exhausted the 21-day maturity date.  

He said his client is not seeking to disrupt the election but rather ensure that the rule of law is respected.

The EC meanwhile said it is yet to receive any writ from the plaintiff.

Director of Communications at the EC Christian Owusu Parry believes his outfit has not breached any law.

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