November 7 fiasco; a case of a polarized state

The Progressive People’s Party received with shock Parliament’s rejection of the Constitutional Amendment that sought to set November 7 as the proposed date for the 2016 polls. This is because civil society, NGOs, political parties, religious bodies and government parastatals had agreed in principle that bringing our elections forward will allow enough time to hand over power to a newly elected government successfully. So that the country can avoid the “democratic coup take-over” that characterized the 2000 and 2008 transitions. Parliament’s decision therefore, was not in the best interest of the state as it upheld a view divergent from that of the vast majority of well-meaning Ghanaians. 
The voting pattern in Parliament also revealed yet again the polarized nature of the Ghanaian political space and the entrenched partisan voting pattern in Parliament since 1992. Clearly, Ghana needs a third force in the current political milieu to hold the balance of power and whip these two political parties in line. Until we are able to effect this, these two parties will continue to take the people of Ghana for granted.
The amendment’s rejection also depicted a failed state and a porous system that will need a total overhaul. How do we explain the late arrival of the bill in Parliament? What took the electoral commission and AG’s office so long a time to lay this bill in Parliament after 7 years of accepting to change the election date?
The progressive People’s Party finds it highly unacceptable for so many members of Parliament to absent themselves in the face of a critical amendment being considered before parliament. We therefore call on the media to investigate and make public the names of those MPs who were absent in order for their constituents to vote against them come December 7, 2016 elections.

The Progressive Peoples Party will like to state without equivocation that, this entrenched polarized position in Parliament, voting along NDC and NPP lines, as well as burdening Parliamentarians with Ministerial appointments has become the bane of our Parliament. The raison d’etre of signing bad loan agreements, delaying and rejecting important bills as well as passing laws that are practically impossible to implement. 

Murtala Mohammed
National Secretary

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