[KNUST SRC ELECTION UPDATE]: Court Orders EC to Reduce Nomination Fee

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KNUST SRC Judicial Committee has lifted an interim court injunction placed on the 2018 SRC elections after the court ruled in favour of a complainant who petitioned the committee over what was described as ‘outrageous charges’ on the sales of nomination forms.

The court presided by the SRC Judicial Committee chairman, Suuk Obed, with four others accepted reasons submitted by Benedict Adjei Nii-Kraku and Kalvin Nii Addo McQuaye who were seeking redress over issues that the SRC Electoral Commission did not have the power to impose any amount of the forms as filing fee-thus the imposition of any price at all is unconstitutional. And secondly, Assuming, the EC had that power it was exercised arbitrarily, capriciously and in an unfair manner therefore The actions of the EC affects the right to vote and be voted for.

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Background

All electioneering activities for the conduct of the 2018 Students Representative Council (SRC) elections in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and technology (KNUST) were put on hold last Sunday after the SRC Judicial Committee granted an interim court injunction on the election activities, restraining the Electoral Commission and its agent from performing any action following a petition filed by Benedict Adjei Nii-Kraku and Kalvin Nii Addo McQuaye against the Judicial Council on the extravagant money charged by SRC EC on nomination forms.

Updates on Ruling

The case was deliberated in court on Tuesday, 20th March, 2018 at the Law Faculty in KNUST.

The court upon consideration of all submissions and deliberations, declared the imposition of prices on nominations by the Electoral Commissioner as unconstitutional.

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However the court held the current charges as valid, given that a decision otherwise will affect the financial operations of the EC and that a constitutional provision should be made, making the act of imposition legal, with effect from the next elections.

The court also ordered the Electoral Commission to refund GHc50.00 of the amount paid by aspirants for the various portfolios and that all who are yet to purchase the forms will have to do so at the reduced price for reasons that time had be wasted due to the injunction, the EC was ordered not to close nominations until Thursday, March 22, 2018.

Essentiall, The court ruled that the EC didn’t have the power to impose any amount on the nomination forms as the filing fee, the act of the EC is therefore unconstitutional.

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The court directed that if the EC wants to exercise such powers then it should send an LI to parliament specifying that power and how the amount will be determined to be deliberated upon and approved by parliament.

The LI, if approved will take effect from next academic year. If the LI is not approved then no EC can impose any amount on the forms in the future.

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