Folks Dr.Serebuor Quacoo the medical doctor I.T Consultant of the Electoral Commission has said in a recent interview that if there’s no time for the E.C to compile a new Voters register this year, then there would be no elections in December.
Guys, before anybody attempts to dwell on that empty assertion or nurture any such vile ideas let me set the record straight!
The Constitution of Ghana is very clear on the legal prerequisites for general elections and one of them is NOT the compilation of a New Voters Register!
No legal framework can back the postponement of the elections on the basis of the inability of the E.C to compile a new register.
Suffice to say that the only legitimate grounds for the postponement of the December 2020 General Elections would be the escalation of the current public health crisis ie; the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now for those entertaining such ideas, they may want to have a firm grasp of the provisions of Article 63 and Article 66 of the 1992 Constitution.
For the avoidance of doubt let us explore this a bit further..
*1. A person elected as President shall subject to clause 3 of this article hold office for a period of four years beginning from the day he was sworn in as President.*
*66(3) The Office of President shall become vacant -*
*a. On expiration of the term specified in clause 1 of this article*
This is pretty much simple, President Akufo Addo was sworn in on the 6th of January, 2017 so legally on midnight 6th of January, 2021 the Office of President of the Republic of Ghana becomes vacant.
It doesn’t matter whether elections have been conducted or not!
Now without Parliamentary elections there would be no legitimate Parliament and a legitimate speaker.
All MPs ceases to be MPs on midnight January 6th.
So the Speaker cannot take over, so the seat of President falls to the Chief Justice who heads the only arm of Government that does NOT rely on elections( the Judiciary)
Now the law says within a period of 3months the Electoral Commission must conduct an election to elect a President and possibly members of Parliament.
So may be for the first time we would have an election with an incumbent government out of power and it would definitely be an interesting scenario.
Now here is the challenge, the Constitution says the Electoral Commission would conduct the elections subject to the Constitutional Instrument laid for the purposes of the elections, now when there is no Parliament, how does the E.C lays the C.I for the conduct of the elections?
Without a C.I what legal framework will back or regulate the conduct of the elections?
Clearly there’s an imminent Constitutional crisis starring us in the faces but no one seem to notice it yet, and with the alcohol induced pronouncements from people like Dr.Serebuor, our situation only gets worse.
For now we shall continue to take solace in the legal jurisprudence, that a *New Register* is NOT a Prerequisite for the conduct of a General election and continue to hope that the internal COVID-19 situations gets better soon.
And oh what happens to ROPAA?
Clear wastage of the tax payers resources I guess or perhaps someone’s rigging machine scattered by an unforeseen global pandemic.
God is good, isn’t he?
Executive Director, ASEPA