The Minister of Lands and natural resources, Nii Osah Mills, on behalf of the Minister of Local Government and rural Development yesterday laid a new constitutional instrument gazzetted as (ci 89) to guide the district level elections that were suspended by the supreme court on constitutional grounds.
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources laid the new CI in parliament because there is no substantive minister for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
The new CI 89 will take 21 sitting days by parliament to mature and the counting started yesterday.
Parliament will most probably rise on Thursday, March 26 by which time the new CI will be four days old and that the remaining 17 days will roll over to the next session of the house which begins in mid May, this year.
The CI 89 has subsequently been referred to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament for consideration.
The chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, appeared before parliament on March 10 to brief the legislators on the way forward after the Supreme Court on February 27 stopped the EC from going ahead to conduct the district assembly elections originally scheduled for March 3; because constitutionally it did not follow due legal process.
The EC chairman told parliamentarians that it spent more than GHc317 million on the botched elections and would be needing additional GHc90 million for fresh elections which are likely to be held between July and October..
The EC was advised by Members of Parliament against going ahead to conduct the district level elections because the old CI 85 had then not matured – which was against the spirit of the constitution.
However, the EC chairman did not listen to advice by sections of the society and went ahead to do whatever he wanted to do, resulting in this great financial loss to the state.
A Winneba-based aspiring assembly member, Benjamin Eyi Mensah, who did not have the opportunity to file his nominations for the elections because the EC rushed through the process, took the commission to court and the Supreme Court stopped it (EC) from going ahead with the elections until a new CI was laid to guide the process.
A member of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament, Frederick Opare-Ansah, told DAILY GUIDE that the new CI was in line with the directive of the Supreme Court and that the committee would consider it and report back to parliament.
‘We will look at the CI 89 and meet with all the stakeholders, including the EC, before we submit our report to the plenary,’ Mr Opare-Ansah said.
Chairman of Parliament’s Subsidiary Legislation Committee, O.B. Amoah, told Joy Fm the committee would invite the EC, Attorney General’s Department and other stakeholders to ‘speak to the CI’.
Draft of the instrument is mostly fashioned around CI 75 which deals with election regulations, especially for parliamentary and presidential elections, he hinted.
Mr. Amoah said committee members would study the constitutional instrument and submit a report to the entire House to either reject or accept it and passed it into law.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr
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