In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling which stopped the district assembly elections slated for March 3, the local government system has suffered a jolt and there is confusion everywhere.
The Vice-President has called on the Attorney-General to do something to extend the tenure of the assemblies whose tenure expired on March 14. I hope the Veep is not calling on the A-G to do so by any executive fiat.
The constitution by Article 246 says elections to the assemblies shall be held every four years.
It does not talk about the tenure of the assemblies. This is taken to mean that the tenure of the assemblies shall be four years.
Contrast this with the provisions of Article 113, which says "Parliament shall continue for four years and stand dissolved." The constitution allows the parliament to extend its tenure when the country is at war, which is an emergency situation.
No such provision exists for the district assemblies. The constitution is silent on the situation which has arisen and so what is the way out?
The situation lends itself to two answers which may be exercised. Article 246 is not an entrenched provision and, therefore, parliament can amend it to create a leeway for the extension of the life of the assemblies.
If parliament believes there is a lacunae, then parliament can make a law to provide for the extension of the life of the current assemblies.
Going by a constitutional amendment is a laborious process which cannot be done to salvage the situation now.
My view is that the immediate answer is the amendment, which in any case should be done before March 14.
If this cannot be done then we have to wait for a constitutional instrument to be laid for 21 parliamentary sittings days before we think of the elections. So Mr Vice-President, your call cannot happen.
PS: Did I hear somebody suggesting that the tenure of Dr Afari Gyan be extended? Please let him go; he must resign himself. Dr Afari Gyan allowed his position to get into his head and ran roughshod over everybody.
As chairman of subsidiary committee of parliament, I had several issues with him from the creation of districts, creation of constituencies, C.I.74, C.I.75, etc, his "mentie obiaa" attitude was always on display.
Let him go now after causing huge financial loss to the state and the poor candidates who in these hard times spent millions to campaign.
In other jurisdictions, he would have resigned or proceedings started to get him out and prosecute him. Dr Afari Gyan's favourite refrain was "go to court," and it seems the rulings of the Supreme Court in the cases which went to court on the creation of districts and constituencies - strange decisions - emboldened him and he crowned it with the election petition in which he exposed himself to public ridicule but was strangely supported by the court.
Now nemesis has caught up with him, the strange way of nature to expose him, let him go in pieces.
Source: The Finder
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