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We shouldn’t joke with electoral justice – Edudzi Tamakloe disagrees with Afari-Gyan

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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Director of Legal Affairs has expressed opposition to former Electoral Commission Chairman Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan’s suggestion for sanctions against political parties that submit bogus election petitions.

Dr. Afari-Gyan, the keynote speaker at the Constitution Day Lecture on Monday, January 8, suggested imposing sanctions on election petitions that fail in court to prevent their proliferation and ensure they are not used solely to satisfy financiers and supporters.

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“…To prevent the rush to court with improbable election petitions from becoming a fashion, I suggest that election petitions that do not succeed should attract punitive sanctions,”he proposed.

Mr Edudzi Tamakloe, in response, said that penalizing petitioners who appear before the Supreme Court for presidential elections will deter people from accessing the legal process.

He expressed fear that such a program might lead to public protests as an alternate manner of expressing discontent.

He went on to say that the 1992 Constitution was built on the idea that Ghanaians should be motivated to defend it.

“I disagree with the policy proposal by him [Dr Afari-Gyan], and my disagreement is that if you are using cost to discourage people from approaching the court when they have reasons to believe that they have been cheated in the presidential election, they will resort to the street…We should not joke or foil with electoral justice at all,” he said.

Frank Davies, Chairman of the New Patriotic Party’s Constitution and Legal Committee, welcomed Dr. Afari-Gyan’s idea, saying it should be studied.

Many petitioners, he claims, are aware that their applications are without validity. However, in order to sustain grassroots support, they turn to legal action. As a result, these cases are dismissed by the Supreme Court.

“I agree with Dr Afari-Gyan because you weigh every case according to the materials which are brought before you,” he said.

 

 

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