Should there be any dispute about the presidential results in the 2020 general elections, the verdict will be delivered within 42 days of filling, the Chief Justice, Justice Anin Yeboah, has disclosed.
Additionally, only a candidate who contested in the said election would be eligible to sue. This means that political parties and party members will not be allowed to join the case as it was in the 2012 presidential election petition.
At the launch of the fourth edition of the manual on election adjudication in Ghana in Accra yesterday, Chief Justice Yeboah said the new election dispute management guideline was in line with the Constitutional Instrument (CI) 99 which came into force on January 5, 2017.
“Also to be noted is the amendment to the Supreme Court rules effected by the Supreme Court (Amendment) (No.2) Rules, 2016 (CI 99) that has introduced strict timelines for the management and hearing of presidential election disputes which requires the Court to determine any such dispute on the forty-second day after its filling”, he said.
According to the Chief Justice, his outfit was prepared for the task ahead; assuring that it was ready to dispense justice regarding elections at all levels without fear or favour.
“I wish to assure the good people of Ghana of the thoroughness, the professionalism and the patriotism with which we approach and dispense our duties. That will never change.”
Ghana’s democracy, like all others, Chief Justice Yeboah said, hinged on the concept of the governed and for the republic to endure, and there was the need for all, or at least a majority of the people to believe in its essential fairness.
“We have to build and sustain a society in which everyone believes that they can get a fair share. This means that we have to develop and sustain mechanisms that have the enduring capacity to protect the rights of the individual.
“On no other institution does the burden of building such a society weigh heavier than the judiciary. Our law courts are thus much more than the arena for deciding who is right or wrong. They are the ultimate theatre in the continuous battle to our people, to protect and defend the system of governance that we have adopted as a country.”
Elections, Chief Justice Anin said were competitive by nature and brings about passion which imposes a duty of “fairness, transparency and even handedness in the entire process on all institutions whose duty it is to manage that process”.
The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Gloria Akuffo, in a statement read on her behalf said, the revised election adjudication manual was a welcome news to see to the speedy resolution of election disputes.
“One may say that the existing adjudicating infrastructure should surpass addressing election matters, however, in view of the conflict that has bedeviled elections in developing countries, it is imperative that special attention is given to electoral disputes”, she stated.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI & GLORIA NSIAH MINTAH
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