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Majority Lobbies Minority Over November 7 Election Date

The Majority in Parliament has initiated a process to lobby the Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs to back the instrument seeking to amend the 1992 Constitution to change the election date to November 7.

Vice Chairman of Parliament’s Legal and Constitutional Committee, George Loh, said the NPP legislators have thus far not opposed the proposed November 7 date.

“Thankfully I haven’t heard from the minority saying that they don’t like the November 7,” he said.

The Attorney-General laid the instrument Parliament on Tuesday, June 28. seeking to change the constitutionally mandated elections date of December 7 date to the first Monday of November.

The change is meant to be effected before the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Conforming to Article 291 (2) of the Constitution, the Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho referred the Bill to the Council of State for advice.

Article 291(2) states: “the Speaker shall, after the first reading of the bill in Parliament; refer it to the Council of State for consideration and advice and the Council of State shall render advice on the bill within (30) thirty days after receiving it.”

Reacting to a question about the willingness of the NPP legislators to back the date, Mr Loh explained he could not tell if the NPP MPs have any reservations but added: “if their posture is anything to go by then I think that we will get the number.”  The instrument need at least two-thirds of the 275-member House to endorse it before the amendment can pass.

The MP for North Dayi said the legislature “is a house of consensus and I am sure when it becomes extremely necessary in the interest of Ghana, we will build the consensus.”

He said “it may come with some hurdle to cross because the minority may want to drag their feet,”  but empahsised the amendment process will go through.

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