Elections can be run with a register that is not credible and accurate, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana School of Law, Dr. Raymond Atuguba, has said.
Dr. Atuguba argues that the constitutionality and voidness or otherwise of an electoral roll should be of concern and not its accuracy and credibility.
"In fact, 99% of registers all over the world – as Jon Benjamin [UK High Commissioner] has told us – are not credible and not accurate. It is impossible to register millions and millions of voters and get an accurate register," he indicated.
Dr Atuguba made these comments on Joy FM and Multi TV's analysis programme Newsfile on a judgement of the Supreme Court on the voters' register which has deeply divided the nation.
The Supreme Court in its judgement on a case brought before it by Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako declared that "the current register of voters which contains the names of persons who have not established qualification to be registered is not reasonably accurate or credible."
The Court further declared that "the current register of voters which contains the names of persons who are deceased is not reasonably accurate or credible."
In view of this, the apex court in the exercise of the power conferred on it under article 2(2) of the constitution, ordered "the EC to take steps immediately to delete or as is popularly known ‘clean” the current register of voters to comply with the provisions of the 1992 Constitution, and applicable laws of Ghana."
The EC was also directed the Commission to provide an opportunity to persons whose names will be deleted 'to register under the law.'
Dr. Atuguba believes the plaintiffs lost the case because "all the substantive claims they brought to court were dismissed."
According to him, the Supreme court said: "the current register is not credible and not accurate but they refused to say that that non-credibility and non-accuracy made the register unconstitutional and void."
In other words, the lack of credibility and inaccuracy of the register in the judgement is practically irrelevant, he maintained. Dr. Atuguba argued that attaining a credible and accurate register "is a hope, a wish an aspiration we work towards."