Vice Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Committee Magnus Kofi Amoatey has expressed disappointment over Parliament’s rejection of first Monday of November as the date for elections in Ghana.
If the bill had been passed, this year’s elections would have been held on November 7.
Speaking to Onua FM’s Parliamentary correspondent Owuahene Omari Acheampong shortly after the House failed to approve the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2016 on Thursday; Yilo Krobo legislator said it was unfortunate they could not obtain two-third of 275 as stipulated under Article 291(3).
After secret balloting, 125 MPs voted yes for the acceptance of the amendment bill and 95 voted no. Since voting is not by a simple majority, the house needed at least 184 MPs to vote yes before the new date for elections would be accepted.
“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.
Magnus Amoatey maintained that Ghana and for that matter Parliament got the opportunity to once again write another history which would have gone a long way to entrench 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,” he said.
DR AMOAKO BAAH’S TAKE
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.
On Onua Fm’s news and current affairs program, Ghana Dadwen, Dr Amoako Baah told the host Kwame Kakari accepting the new date would have exposed this year’s elections to myriad of challenges.
“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 admonished the EC to 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 wants the EC to rally the support of all stakeholders in whatever it does.
“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.”
By Bright Dzakah |Onua FM 95.1 | 3news.com