Barring any last minute hitch and subject to the Supreme Court of Ghana?s decisions in a legal suit challenging processes leading to the review of the 1992 Constitution, the next presidential and parliamentary elections would be held on November 7 instead of December 7, The aL-hAJJcan confirm.


Constitutional law experts and astute election watchers who spoke to this paper revealed that should the apex court of the land rule otherwise in the case challenging the review process, the Electoral Commission (EC) was likely to fix November 7, 2016 as Election Day after the review process by Parliament.
According to the experts,although the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) recommend that elections should be held between October and November or, not less than sixty days before the swearing in of a new administration; government?s White Paper has settled on November 7.

The CRC last year made recommendations regarding the review of the 1992 Constitution after touring the whole country to solicit views on the review process.

The Commission, among other things, recommends that instead of December 7, parliamentary and presidential elections should be held concurrently sixty days before the swearing in of a new government on January 7.

?The purpose of these recommendations is to regulate better the manner in which districts and constituencies are created; draw the time for parliamentary elections backwards so that they may be held together with the presidential elections within sixty (60) days before the inauguration of a new government; make the transfer of power from one administration to the other generally smoother; and amend the Rules of Court to limit interlocutory applications, adjournments and delays in electoral disputes to ensure disposal of such cases within a period of six (6) months,? the commission stated.

The commission?s report was subsequently endorsed by government in an official white paper which was signed by late President John Evans Atta Mills and gazette on June 15, 2012.
However, the review process has been halted as a result of an action at the Supreme Court of Ghana by a US-based Ghanaian law professor, KwakuAsare, seeking the nullification of the constitution review process.
While some of the recommendations and proposals are to be subject to a vote at a referendum, Prof. Asare says, ?Professor Dankwah and his so-called Constitution Review Implementation Committee have no power under the laws of Ghana to schedule a referendum and/or to amend the Constitution of Ghana.?

The Supreme Court is yet to making a ruling on the legal issues raised by the US based Ghanaian law Professor.
Ghanaians especially governance experts have been calling for the change of the election calendar from the usual date of 7th December to a date that would give EC enough time to maneuver and conduct run-off should the need arises.

The shifting of the date would also give the incoming winner of the election, especially the President-elect ample time to form his/her government.

Source: The Alhajj


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