Vice Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Committee and Member of Parliament for Yilo Krobo Magnus Kofi Amoatey has expressed disappointment over Parliament’s rejection of November 7 as the accepted date for both Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Ghana.
Speaking to Onua Fm’s Parliamentary correspondent Owuahene Omari Acheampong shortly after the House has failed to approve the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2016; Yilo Krobo legislator said it was unfortunate they could not obtain the two-third of the secret ballot which would have been in fulfillment of Article 291 clause 3 and by extension approve first Monday of November as new election date.
“I am not a happy person today, after all that we went through to get here, I strongly thought November 7 is an ideal date for our general elections going forward, but some did not think so and we have to go back and change dates on our documents. It was supposed to be a good idea that we all should have supported but it seems some people’s political will prevailed” vice chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Committee lamented. Member of Parliament for Yilo Krobo Magnus Kofi Amoatey maintained that Ghana and for that matter Parliament got the opportunity to once again write another history which will go in a long way to entrenched the country’s budding democracy, but was sacrificed on the altar of politics, a situation he described as worrying. “Let us do more to avoid seeing every good thing with the lens of politics, it is destroying us, November 7 should have been perfect which will allow for smooth transition”
Parliament on Thursday rejected the passage of the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2016, which was seeking to change the date for holding Ghana’s election from December 7, to the first Monday of November in election years but at the end of a secret ballot which is the normal procedure after second reading of the Bill, the House could not make the 184 votes needed for the passage of the Bill. As reported by Onua Fm’s Parliamentary correspondent Owuahene Omari Acheampong out of the 275 members of parliament, 125 Members of the Parliament voted for the November 7 date, whiles 95 voted against it, with 45 being absent from the House.
DR AMOAKO BAAH’S TAKE
On his part, Political Science Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Dr Amoako Baah has hailed the rejection of the amendment, saying he knew from the very on set that the Bill will crash and could not succeed. Justifying his stance on Onua Fm’s news and current affairs program Ghana Dadwen, Dr Amoako Baah told the host Kwame Kakari that should parliament went ahead to pass the Bill, there will be myriad challenges with this year’s elections since it was clear that EC is not ready for elections on November 7. “I said so because just look at the number of issues surrounding the current voters roll, even the limited registration was fraught with many challenges, how can EC convince me that they are ready for elections in November”
The Political Science lecturer noted that now that it is obvious that EC has failed to do its home works well, it is time EC puts its house in order for elections 2016 and prepare for the amendment in the years to come, may be before the 2020 elections. “We can’t toy with this year’s elections, stakes are high already and EC must be careful the decision they take”
DR ALBERT PUNI’S THOUGHT
On his part, governance expert and a lecturer at the Graduate School, University of Professional Studies Accra Dr Albert Puni, EC has short itself in the foot for delaying the process. He said if EC had expedite the process and send the Amendment to Parliament early, chances are that it would have been passed but was quick to add that if care is not taken 2016 elections will not turn out well. He said from the word go, the two main political parties (NDC/NPP) seem divided when it comes to the issues of EC and the voters register. Saying the same was translated into voting hence the House was not able to reach a consensus. “You see, EC must be seen as proactive, yes EC must be proactive in its dealings, this is the time that they need the stakeholders more than ever, we need all stakeholders on board else people will continue to doubt works of that Institution”
Source: Bright Dzakah.