According to Andy Kwame Appiah-Kubi, the Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Subsidiary Legislation Committee, the Electoral Commission (EC) may file a lawsuit against Parliament if it believes that body is impeding the approval of its new Constitutional Instrument (CI).
Opposition political parties have filed a lawsuit against EC for choosing to centralize rather than decentralize the ongoing restricted voter registration drive.
The exercise’s inability to be expanded, according to the chairperson, Mrs. Jean Mensa, is partially attributable to Parliament’s failure to approve the new CI that was offered for approval.
In response to complaints and critiques over the ongoing exercise, Mrs. Mensa stated that the Commission has been placed in a challenging situation.
The Minority in Parliament, however, vehemently rejects this viewpoint and maintains that the Commission does not require a new statute to effectively carry out its mandate.
The Asante-Akim North MP and Ranking Member of the Parliament’s Subsidiary Legislation Committee, Andy Kwame Appiah-Kubi, claimed there had been significant talks on the CI, thus he does not see why it cannot be placed during an appearance on PM Express on Joy News on Wednesday.
“Indeed, I have been questioning why the EC hasn’t brought the CI and let parliament take a decision on that. I have heard people say that parliament is frustrating the EC in laying its CI Parliament doesn’t have any power to frustrate a constitutionally mandated institution.
“Maybe it’s about consultation between Parliament and the EC that has stalled the filing, but I don’t think Parliament has any power to frustrate the EC, I will not accept that fact. They [EC] probably have to come out with a better explanation. As far as I am concerned, we are all waiting for the filing of the CI for it to continue the process of maturity,” he explained.
The MP responded, “It’s probably because of discussions even beyond the pre-laying conferencing, because I have been part of the pre-laying conferencing, and at a point where we agreed that it ought to be filed, so I don’t see why it cannot be filed,” after Evans Mensah, host of PM Express, reminded him that the EC Chairperson is explicitly accusing Parliament of obstructing the process.
He dared the EC to file a lawsuit if it believes that a concerted effort is being made to undermine its independence.
“If the EC is experiencing some frustration in the process of filing, EC may go to court to seek orders that will be compelling on even Parliament to facilitate the filling. For me, I have not seen any frustration on the part of Parliament in the laying of the CI If it is true that somebody is frustrating it, then somebody is undermining the independence of the Commission and it ought to be brought to be book. But for me I don’t have evidence of any such frustration. So if it becomes difficult for them, they [EC] can resort to court for interpretation” he argued.
The Electoral Commission (EC) is being sued by five political parties, including the National Democratic Congress (NDC), over the decision to limit voter registration at its district offices.
Political parties in uproar believe that the EC’s decision to limit the registration centers to district offices may prevent many eligible voters from being registered as voters and from exercising their right to vote in public elections.
The eligible voters who are unable to register at one of the Commission’s district offices worldwide will have to do so next year, according to Dr. Serebour Quaicoe, director of electoral services.
He stated that after the European Commission wins parliamentary approval for its Constitutional Instrument, or CI, specific arrangements would be made for difficult-to-reach places. He claims that the Commission would also implement a continuous registration procedure at its offices to accommodate potential voters at any time.