EC To Lay New CI Before Parliament Today

Afari GyanBarring any last minute hitches, Parliament will debate the newly drafted Constitutional Instrument (CI) which will oversee the conduct of District Assembly Elections this morning [Thursday].
Chairman of the Local Government Committee of Parliament, Dominic Azumah Azimbe who confirmed this on Eyewitness News on Wednesday said the Electoral Commission (EC) finalized the CI on Monday and forwarded it to the Attorney General “and that department has been working on the draft since Monday.”The draft when laid before Parliament is expected to mature within a period of 21 days after which it will be passed by the House to enable the EC go ahead with the conduct of the District Assembly Elections.

Considering the fact that Parliament is to rise on March 27 and resume in May, the Local Government Committee has recommended a recall of the House immediately after the Easter Holidays to enable the CI mature in time for the elections to be held in July.

Parliament is originally scheduled to resume sitting in May and according to Azimbe, if that schedule is strictly followed, the maturing of the CI will happen in June which means the EC will only have four weeks to open nominations, prepare and undertake the District Assembly elections.

“So we appealed to the House and the Speaker to consider seriously, the possibility of a recall of the House after the Easter break so as to allow the House to sit and allow the CI to mature within the 21 days early enough for the Electoral Commission to proceed,” he said.

The Committee has also recommended that the Ministry of Finance should make funds available to allow the Speaker recall the House after Easter. “That is the only way out,” he insisted.

According to him, calling for an emergency sitting should be seen as a national assignment and we want to have the elections in July and…if we keep the assemblies in abeyance as it is, a lot of things will go wrong.”

Azimbe gave the assurance that a lot of work has gone into the drafting of the new CI and “…the Subsidiary Legislation Committee chaired by OB Amoah seems to be very satisfied with the draft they have been seen.”

The EC was ordered by the Supreme Court to postpone indefinitely, the conduct of the District Assembly Elections after a fisherman sued the Commission for disallowing him to file his nominations.

The Supreme Court ruled that the election which was slated for March 3 was “unconstitutional” because the Constitutional Instrument (CI) which gives the election its legal backing was nonexistent.




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