Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, General Secretary for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is angry over the Minority Leader of Parliament, Hon. Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu’s statement that the Electoral Commission (EC) is to be blamed for the delay in the amendment of the Constitution to change the date for the country’s General elections.
According to General Mosquito, he does not know why Parliament has to blame the Electoral Commission (EC) and IPAC for the delay in amending the Constitution which is solely the responsibility of Parliament.ghanapoliticsonline.com
Speaking on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ Morning Show, General Mosquito pointed out that the issue at hand has nothing to do with Constitutional Instrument (CI) for which the Electoral Commission (EC) has to bring to Parliament.
He explained that Parliament make laws and not the EC; thus this is a Constitutional amendment and after, the EC, based on the amendment will conduct elections on November 7, 2016.
“EC has proposed that this year’s elections should be conducted on November 7, and it has come up with its working plan whichis going accordingly towards November 7, and Parliament which is supposed to amend the Constitution has turned to blame EC for the delay,” he said.
“EC does not amend Constitution and so if there is anyone to be blamed, at least, it should be the Attorney-General who probably has not been in a haste in the process to send the gazette to Parliament. Constitutional amendment should come from the government in power through the Attorney-General (A-G) to Parliament and Parliament will vote to pass the bill; so what is the essence of blaming the EC for the delay?” he quizzed.
“The bill seeking to change the country’s election date from December 7 to November 7 is yet to be tabled before Parliament, raising uncertainties about the proposed date. The bill has gone through the first gazette and is expected to go through a second stage in three months time after which it will take 10 days before it is laid before the legislators for consideration,” Majority Leader Alban Bagbin told TV3.
Parliament reconvened Tuesday for its second meeting under the fourth session of the sixth parliament after two months on recess.
A total of 29 bills, excluding that of the Electoral Commission, are expected to be considered for passage.
Notwithstanding, Mr Bagbin was hopeful the bill would be passed by the end of July to pave the way for the country’s general elections to be held on November 7 to allow enough time for transition.
The Majority and Minority sides in Parliament warn that the process to ratify this change is “elaborate”, ‘tedious’, ‘time-consuming’ and long drawn.
For the Minority, they have an extra warning for the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Mrs Charlotte Osei to re-examine her posture towards the opposition who believe she is unaccommodating.
The Electoral Commission confirmed in October 2015, it plans to effect a historic change in Ghana’s election timetable.
The EC has done its work by consulting widely and gazetting the law requesting a constitutional amendment to bring forward the election date.
Constitutionally, Ghana’s Presidential and Parliamentary elections are to be held on December 7.