Parliament failed Ghana in election date rejection – Ato Dadzie

Parliament failed Ghana in election date rejection – Ato Dadzie
Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline.com
Date: 22-07-2016 Time: 12:07:35:pm

Former Chief of Staff in the Rawlings government, Nana Ato Dadzie, says Parliament failed Ghana by rejecting a new elections date.

He said failing to forge consensus by both sides of the House on the matter proved troublesomely worrying.

Mr. Ato Dadzie was speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Parliament’s rejection of a proposed amendment of the Constitution to hold the elections a month early.

The Electoral Commission hoped to hold this year’s presidential and parliamentary election in November instead of the traditional December 7.

But a proposed constitutional amendment tabled by the Attorney-General, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong failed to pass.

It got 125 votes, short of 59 votes to pass.

The minority voted against the proposal, insisting the time is too short for such a crucial legislation to be passed.

Nana Ato Dadzie believes that Parliament “got it completely wrong.”

He said Parliament got it wrong “because they focused on more n election than on transition; this Bill has everything to d with transition and less on election.”

The MPs should have looked at the transition which becomes problematic especially when there is a presidential run-off as happened in 2000 and 2008, he maintained.

In both instances there was a chaotic transition process because barely a week was used to transition from one government to another.

He said a large number of stakeholders agree that the best way forward is to hold the elections in November.

In the event of a run-off, there will be at least one month period for transition, he argued.

For him, Ghana is hugely polarised partly because of poor transition.

Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament, OB Amoah disagreed with Nana Ato Dadzie, insisting Parliament could not be blamed for the failure of the amendment to pass.

He said merely changing the law and holdng early elections is no guarantee that there will be a smooth transition.

"If the EC knew that we would go for elections [in November], if the Attorney-Geenral knew that this amendment would help us, why has it taken us so long [to bring it to Parliament]"?

He said as far back as 2011, the Constitution Review Commission had concluded that the majority preferred an election in November.

"Why did we have to wait till this time to come and stampede parliament"? he asked.

It is about time things were done right and in the interest of the nation, he stressed.

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