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02.06.2004 General News

EC Rejects NDC Protest

By Times

The Electoral Commission (EC) has defended its decision to hold a bye-election in the Upper Denkyira Constituency of the Central Region, even though the nation is just a six months away from a general election.

In an interview with the 'Times' in Accra yesterday, June 1, Mr Henry Okyne, the EC's Director of Public Relations, explained that the decision was in line with the constitutional provision that mandates the EC to organise a bye-election under the circumstances.

He said that the people of the constituency would be denied their constitutional right to representation in Parliament, if the EC failed to hold the bye-election.

Mr Okyne was reacting to the charges made by some political parties, that, in view of the impending general election, a bye-election in Upper Denkyira, following the death of May 1 of the sitting Member of Parliament, Hon Charles Nyanor, was unnecessary.

Mr Okyne noted that the farmers of the constitution felt it would be wrong for a part of the country to remain without a parliamentary representative for six months. He said the constitutional provision that barred the calling of bye-elections within three months of a general election was appropriate, because in order to allow time for the election campaign, Parliament would not normally be in session during that period.

Asked whether, at a cost of ยข150 million, the bye-election would not just be a waste of State resources, the EC's Director of Pubic Relations said that Ghanaians should concentrate rather on the need to give the people of Upper Denkyira a representative in Parliament.

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