The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Nii Osah-Mills has on behalf of the Local Government Minister laid before Parliament a Constitutional Instrument (CI 89), to guide and pave way for the District Level elections which has stalled after suffering a severe legal blow.
Parliament’s Subsidiary Legislation Committee says the CI would have to wait till July before it can travel through the mandatory 21 sitting days maturation period to be passed into law.
The Speaker of Parliament accordingly referred the CI to Parliament’s Subsidiary Legislation Committee to consider the regulations and present its report.
This means that the 21-days compulsory maturation countdown begins today, March 20, 2015.
Meanwhile Parliament is expected to go on recess on Thursday March 26 and resume on May 3. But that will not affect the 21-days maturation period because counting will halt until the house resumes sitting.
The maturation period is likely to be attained at the end of June. The Electoral Commission is also reported to have said that it will need two months to prepare for the elections.
As a result, the District Level elections is likely to come off between August and October 2015.
The challenges facing the country’s local governance system have come about as a result of a Supreme Court ruling on February 26, that declared the elections unconstitutional.
It followed a suit by an aspiring assembly member who was disallowed from filing his nominations after the Electoral Commission had closed nominations.
The Supreme Court verdict said the election which was initially slated for March 3, was unlawful because its legal basis, the (CI) 85, had not matured to pave way for the opening of nominations.
As things stand now, the tenure of current assembly members has expired. The Local Government Minister has asked MMDCEs to take charge of the assembly until the new members are elected.
This however does not solve the problem entirely since the MMDCEs cannot take many decisions without approval from assembly members.
The Electoral Commission had wasted nearly Ghc310 million on the botched elections and will need additional government funding to restart the process once the legal hurdles in Parliament are cleared.
By: Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie/3news.com/Ghana