November 7 Election date in limbo; bill yet to get to Parliament

VotingThe bill seeking to change the country’s election date from December 7 to November 7 is yet to be tabled before Parliament, raising uncertainties about the proposed date.

The bill has gone through the first gazette and is expected to go through a second stage in three months time after which it will take 10 days before it is laid before the legislators for consideration, Majority Leader Alban Bagbin told TV3.

“It has been gazetted for the first time in accordance with the chapter on the amendment to Constitution and in about three months time, it will be gazetted the second time and after 10 days it will be laid in the House. That is what is ironed out in the chapter of the amendment to the Constitution,”  he explained.

Parliament reconvened Tuesday for its second meeting under the fourth session of the sixth parliament after two months on recess. A total of 29 bills, excluding that of the Electoral Commission, are expected to be considered for passage.

Notwithstanding, Mr Bagbin was hopeful the bill would be passed by the end of July to pave the way for the country’s general elections to be held on November 7 to allow enough time for transition.

“Before we rise, if possible, we will pass that bill before the end of July. If not, Parliament may have to be recalled  on an emergency to come and pass through that bill because the country has agreed that its better for … democracy to do the elections earlier than the date of the handing over which is fixed also to be 7th January,” he said.

The bill was prompted by a proposal for the presidential and parliamentary elections be held in November 7  instead of the usual December 7 date. The change needs an amendment to the provision in the 1992 Constitution.

The bill seeking to amend the provision of the Constitution is required to be sent to Parliament by the Electoral Commission for approval.

Read Also: November 7 voting day yet to be approved – EC

On whether it will be right to say the elections would be held on November 7, Mr Bagbin said “you can say, the proposal. It has been proposed that the constitution will be amended and to bring the general election date to November 7 but legally, the date is still December 7”.

By Evelyn Tengmaa||Ghana

Twitter @etengmaa

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