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Politics of Monday, 21 December 2020

Source: GNA

EC initiates process to create Guan constituency

EC Chair, Jean Mensa EC Chair, Jean Mensa

The Electoral Commission (EC) has disclosed that it will initiate processes leading to the creation of a new constituency in the Guan district when the 8th Parliament commences.

At the just-ended general election, the EC could not hold elections for registered voters in the Guan District to elect a Member of Parliament due to the absence of a constituency.

A source at the Electoral Commission said it was unable to create the Constituency because the C.I. needed to create the constituency could not have matured in the 7th Parliament.

Parliament went on recess on November 9, for the December elections and resumed on December 14.

The source said the EC could not lay the C.I. for amendment of the creation of constituencies because the 7th Parliament could not sit for 21 days before its dissolution at midnight, January 6, 2021.

“If we had initiated the process in the 7th Parliament, the CI could not have matured. In that case, the process will have to start all over again in the 8th Parliament, ” the source said.

“The C I to be laid will have to stay in Parliament for 21 sitting days and come into force if 2/3s of Members of Parliament allows its journey. It is after the passage of the amended C.I. that the EC can contemplate the holding of any election in that created Constituency,” the source said.

The EC noted that the Supreme Court had ruled on when elections could be held in a newly created Constituency.

“It was not a deliberate attempt by the EC to deny the people of representation in Parliament. They could not have voted to elect an MP because it was not legally right for an MP to be voted for by two different districts,” the source said.

“By law, if a new constituency is created they have to join the new parliament, and whether the people will have a representation or not in the 8th Parliament, it will be another huddle. As a Commission, we will do our part and leave the rest to the judicial process”.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Prof Henry Kwasi Prempeh has suggested that it will be most appropriate for parliament to schedule the election of a new Speaker once the House gets a full complement of MPs seated.

For him, the vacuum created with the delay of the parliamentary election in the Guan constituency should prompt the House to maintain the current Speaker in the interim until the House is set to elect a new speaker for the next parliament.

“I think the most appropriate thing to do in the present circumstances, if the election of the Guan MP is not done by the time the next Parliament opens, is to have the current Speaker hold over as Speaker (thus creating no vacancy in the office) until the Guan MP is elected and then schedule the election of a new Speaker once the House has a full complement of MPs seated. But we must have a time certain by which this would happen,” Prof. H. Kwasi Prempeh said in a Facebook post.