The Electoral Commission has explained that it was on course to organise this year’s Presidential and Parliamentary Elections on November 7, 2016 as planned.
Unlike the presidential elections which the constitution does not stipulate the period within which a new president should be elected before the expiration of the tenure of office of a sitting president, that of Parliamentarians is stipulated in the constitution.
Article 112 (4) of the constitution states that, “…a general election of members of Parliament shall be held within thirty (30) days before the expiration of the period specified in clause (1) of that article; and a session of Parliament shall be appointed to commence within fourteen (14) days after the expiration of that period.”
The swearing in of new members of Parliament is on January 6.
This means that before the EC can move the elections to November 7, from December 7, 60 clear days before the expiration of the tenure of office of the present Parliamentarians, the constitution ought to be amended.
Explaining if the commission would be able to meet the timeline as Article 112 (4) was yet to be amended, Mrs Georgina Opoku Amankwaa, the EC’s Deputy Chair in charge of Corporate Services said the commission has done all that it needs to do as of now, it was up to Parliament to do the amendment.
“We are in the process of amending Article 112 (4) and fortunately it is not an entrenched provision in the constitution so it is going through the process under Article 291,” she said.
“So as we speak we have had an initial engagement with the constitutional and legal committee of Parliament. It has gone to cabinet and it has been approved at that point. The first gazette has been made, we are waiting to pass the second gazette somewhere early next week, and then back to Parliament, back to Council of State before it gets back to Parliament for approval.”
Watch a video of Ms Amankwaa's explanation here
Source: Daily Graphic
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