South Dayi MP, Rockson Dafeamekpor

Ranking Member on the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee has explained the rationale for pre-laying Constitutional Instrument (C.I) before the House.

Mr. Rockson Dafeamekpor said, it is a convention.

The Electoral Commission’s C.I, which is undergoing some amendments, is expected to make the Ghana card the only identification document required to enroll onto the voter’s register.

Speaking in an interview on Joy FM’s Top Story on Friday, October 28, 2022, he stated that by practice and convention, the pre-laying process “is to give the Committee the opportunity to vet the content of the Instrument.

He went on to say that the pre-laying process allows members of the Committee to make amendments and proposals for further improvement before it is formally laid.

This, he explained, is because changes cannot be made to the Constitutional Instrument when laid before the House for deliberation.

 “You cannot even change the letter ‘I’ of an instrument if you have a problem with it. What Parliament can do in that instance is that you either reject or adopt,” he said.

The South Dayi MP’s explanation was in response to comments by a member of the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee in Parliament, Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh. Mr. Ameyaw-Cheremeh stated on the same programme that the Electoral Commission is not bound by any law to pre-lay its new Constitutional Instrument before the House.

He said although Parliament appreciates the convenience that comes with pre-laying instruments before they are officially laid, there is no legal backing for such procedures.

This comes in the wake of the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin on Friday threatening to block the laying of a new Constitutional Instrument (C.I) by the Electoral Commission if the House is not briefed accordingly.

Speaking about the C.I on the floor of the House, Alban Bagbin indicated that he will only allow the EC to lay the C.I before Parliament if members of the House are fully briefed.

“I am yet to receive them to be briefed. Until that is done, they should forget about laying any such instrument in the House. I think there is a misinterpretation and misunderstanding of the concept of independence of various state institutions that are stated by the Constitution to be independent,” he stressed.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.