Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Affairs holds Public Forum


The Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs held a public forum with invitation extended to the political parties on the Constitutional Amendment Act 2016 for discussions on the date for Parliamentary elections. Representatives of Political Parties, Civil Society Organizations and the general public made inputs in the form of concerns about whether both Presidential and Parliamentary elections on the same day could stand as usual.

Some also were of the view that the date for elections should be fixed and not just a day of the first week in a month.
The general consensus however did not depart from first Monday in November of every election year as spelt out in the 2016 Constituency Act.

The deliberations were considered at the committee level and would be put before Parliament.
The committee will meet the Electoral Commission on Wednesday July 13, 2016 for more discussions where issues raised at the current forum such as ROPA, Security during and after elections, ballot boxes, preparedness in materials for the elections, Supreme Court decisions on identity cards, final list of contesting parties and other legal implications among others will be discussed.

Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Obeng, Attorney General and Minister for Justice in her Memorandum in March this year said currently dates set aside for both Presidential and Parliamentary elections in the country was the 7th day of December . However, the one month transition period for handing over to another government proved insufficient for a smooth transition.
The Electoral Reform Committee was asked to propose reforms. This committee formed in January 2015 comprised representatives of the Electoral Commission.

One of the recommendations made was a change from 7th December to the first Monday of November in an election year to allow for smooth transition between elections and handing over. 
The bill amended article 112 (4) of the constitution to provide for Parliamentary elections to be held on the first Monday of the every election year to ensure that they were held earlier than the 7th day of December. These were contained in the constitution Amendment Bill presented on March 9, 2016 and passed into an act and gazetted on 15th July, 2016.