Why the EC ought to revoke the registration of 17 political parties: Per Kusi-Appiah(JA)
"From the foregoing, I hold that the respondent (the Electoral Commission) was justified in refusing to issue a final certificate of registration to the appellant for non-compliance with section 9(c) of Act 574."
Seventeen(17) political parties in Ghana are currently on wide alert relative to a notice served on them by the Electoral Commission of Ghana for them to show cause why their registrations should not be revoked.
The gravamen of this red-alert notice is their inability to establish branches in all regions and organize in not less than two-thirds of the districts in the regions.
After a nationwide exercise embarked upon by the Electoral Management Body between May and June this year, it served notice to the following political parties; Democratic People’s Party (DPP), United Front Party (UFP), United Development System Party (UDSP), Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere (EGLE), Yes People’s Party (YPP), United Ghana Movement (UGM), Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), New Vision Party (NVP), Ghana Democratic-Republican Party (GDRP), Ghana National Party (GNP), Power Unity Party (PUP), United Progressive Party (UPP), Reform Patriotic Democrats (RPD), People’s Action Party (PAP), United Renaissance Party (URP), National Reform Party (NRP), United Love Party (ULP).
However, many have shared opinions imputing illegality, malice, and hatred on the EC's part relative to its intention toward these political parties.
This should be clearly understood from their point of view because it stems from sheer ignorance of the purposive meaning of the law.
It is apt to say that the EC’s move is not illegal and is without malice because it is making a move per the position of the law and a decision of the nation’s court.
Let us now avert our minds back to the case of the African Reform Movement v The Electoral Commission where the appellant contended among other things that the EC’s compliance with Section 9( C ) of Act 574 to deny them a final certificate was misconceived and misplaced.
The Appellant further averred that the proper interpretation of the Section above does not mean the physical existence of party offices in the regions and districts.
However, applying the modern purposive approach, the court, presided over by Kusi-Appiah(JA), made a finding that the words ‘branches’ and ‘organized’ connote physical structure or presence.
Also, the court described as untenable and inaccurate the appellant's argument to the effect that per the combined effect of sections 9( C ) and 15(1) of Act 574, the physical presence of a party is only required upon issuance of the final certificate of registration.
The court, therefore, held that physical presence in the form of offices of a party in the regions and districts of Ghana is a necessary condition for compliance with Section 9( C ) of Act 574 and thus held the appellant's lack of presence in the regions and districts including Upper West and Ashanti is a non-fulfillment of the Political parties Act stated supra.
It then held that the EC was justified in refusing to issue a final certificate of registration to the appellant per the above, and duly dismissed the appeal.
Read the full judgment here.