Law to regulate elections not yet ready

Mr O.B.Amoah...

Mr. Amoah

With less than four months to the general elections, the legal framework which will regulate the conduct of the election is still not ready.

The Public Elections Regulations 2016, Constitutional Instrument (CI 94), which was laid in Parliament last month, needs 21 sitting days in Parliament to mature, but has only met 20 days.

The Chairman of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation, Osei Bonsu Amoah, told newsmen here yesterday, that Parliament needed to sit for one more day to enable the CI to mature.

He said the instrument went through its 20th day in Parliament on the last sitting day of The House before going on recess late last month.

Mr. Amoah added, however, that CI 94 would mature and pave way for the conduct of the election the very day Parliament would be recalled from recess, but could not state when the House would be recalled.

On his observations on the instrument, he said the CI clearly spelt out the role of the returning and presiding officers and the various forms which would be used for the elections.

Also, he said the “No Verification No Vote” clauses introduced in the 2012 elections to verify voters biometrically had been eliminated.

Instead, the instrument had made provision for voters who could not go through the biometric verification process, to be verified manually.

“In such situations, the polling assistant shall inform the agents of the political parties present at the polling station to complete a verification form as set out in the presence of the parties’ agents and hand over the completed verification form to a verification officer.

The verification officer would draw a horizontal line across the voter’s barcode in the register to indicate that the voter has been manually verified.

The C.I 94, when matured, would replace C.I 75 which was used to regulate the conduct of the 2012 general elections.

Also, the Representation of the People (Parliamentary Constituencies) Instrument, 2016 is also going through the same process in the House.

The purpose of the instrument is to capture certain polling stations and electoral areas which were created during the District Assemblies Elections but was not captured in C.I 71.

Touching on the decision by the Electoral Commission to transmit results electronically from the polling stations, Mr. Amoah said the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) had agreed that the results would be transmitted from the collation centres, and not the polling station.

However, he said the parties were waiting for the commission to come out publicly to officially confirm what had been agreed at IPAC.

According to him, Article 49 of the Constitution and PNDC law 284 had clearly stated how votes would be transmitted for results to be declared and added that the issue should not be a bone of contention because it had been clearly stated in the Constitution.

From Yaw Kyei, Aburi

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