The Majority Caucus in Parliament has responded to allegations by the Minority to the effect that they were in bed with the Electoral Commission (EC) to see to the passage of the Constitutional Instrument (CI) giving legal backing to the creation of the 45 new constituencies for the December elections.
According to the Majority, the press conference held by the Minority in Parliament sought to muddy the waters and confuse the Ghanaian public with regard to the creation of the 45 new constituencies.
Majority Leader, Hon Cletus Avoka, speaking at a press conference in Parliament at the week-end to set the records straight and explain the supposed intricacies associated with the handling of the Constitutional Instrument in Parliament, refuted the Minority?s accusations and rather called for calm and co-operation with the Electoral Commission to make the December polls free, fair, transparent and peaceful.
?We find this trend very unfortunate indeed as it has the potential of inciting the people against the Government and the Electoral Commission and untimely undermining the integrity of the Electoral Commission to organise the 2012 elections successfully.?
He continued that the mandate of creating or demarcating constituencies in the country as prescribed under articles 45 and 47 of the 1992 constitution is solely exercised by the Electoral Commission and not by the Government of the day as attributed to the NDC government by the Minority Caucus in their recent press conference held in Accra.
In recounting the genesis of the C.I to Parliament, Mr. Avoka stressed that the Electoral Commission brought a Constitutional Instrument to Parliament which sought to seek Parliamentary scrutiny and approval adding that the C.I 73 was laid by himself (Avoka) on Wednesday 17th July, 2012 since the Electoral Commission (EC) does not have a forum to do business in Parliament and was also after it was referred to the subsidiary legislation committee for deliberation and report.
?After a careful scrutiny, the Subsidiary Committee made the following observations: That the provisions of the C.I 73 conflicted with earlier Supreme Court ruling in dealing with Electoral Areas as contained in L.I 1983; the C.I had several omission and misplacements; there were numerous errors on the face of the record of the C.I 73. The Committee recommended that the C.I 73 be annulled by Parliament in accordance with Art. 11 (7) of the 1992 constitution,? he added.
Touching on the powers of the EC, Mr. Majority Leader who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Zebilla in the Upper East Region argued that the NDC has no powers to create constituencies but the power rather lies with the Electoral Commission.
He told the media that ?There is no iota of truth or shred of evidence that the NDC government and the NDC Majority Caucus is coercing or manipulating the EC in this regard since it has a proven track record in this enterprise and we would rather appeal and advise all stakeholders including the NPP and its Minority group in Parliament to co-operate with the EC to ensure an incident free polls in December 2012.?
STORY: EVANS OSEI BAFFOUR, FROM PARLIAMENT