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In the quest to effectively deal with election disputes, the Judiciary of Ghana and Kenya have declared their commitment to cooperate and share experience in building the capacity of their courts to enhance election dispute adjudication.

As a result of the commitment, members of the Kenya’s Judicial Committee on Elections (JEC) are in Ghana to confer with the leadership of the judiciary on how to resolve election disputes fairly and expeditiously.
Led by Justice Philomena Mwilu, Kenya’s Deputy Chief Justice and Vice President of Kenya’s Constitutional Court, the committee’s visit is to create a platform for sharing of experience and developing mechanisms for improved election dispute adjudication.

Kenya is currently preparing for its general election on August 8, this year since it adopted its new Constitution, and the visit is part of its judiciary’s preparatory activities for the elections.
Justice Mwilu told journalists on arrival in Accra that the objective of the visit was to ascertain dispute resolution mechanisms, including their mode of operations, legislative and administrative frameworks so as to generate lessons that the Kenyan judiciary could adopt.

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Mr Justice Jones Victor Dotse, a Supreme Court Judge and the Chairman of Ghana’s Judicial Election Task Force Committee, during a meeting to welcome the delegation, recounted how Ghana’s judiciary developed Election Manuals in 2008, 2012 and 2016 to guide the courts and judges in election adjudication.
He also recalled that while Ghana’s 2012 presidential election dispute lasted for six months, Kenyan successively sat over their election dispute within two weeks, and lauded the swift manner Kenyans resolved their election dispute, adding, “Ghana has a lot to learn from you”.

Mr Justice William Atuguba, a Supreme Court Judge, for his part, noted that the principles used to decide on Ghana’s six-month election petition was not different from that of Kenya’s election dispute, adding that sanctity of votes should carry the day when considering a petition.

He said Ghana’s Election Task Force normally go round the country to educate and equip magistrates and judges on how to interpret the laws on registration processes and issues relating to filing of parliamentarians.
Among their activities, the team is expected to meet with Civil Society Organisations, the Electoral Commission, election observers and also call on Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina T. Wood.

ADR Daily News Desk

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