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06.10.2004 General News

Parliament draws EC's attention to Election day

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Accra, Oct 6, GNA - Mr Peter Ala Adjetey, Speaker of Parliament, on Wednesday notified the Electoral Commission on the fixing of a date for this year's General Election.

He said: "We want draw the Electoral Commission's attention to the provision but not to give a directive.. The Electoral Commission must bear responsibility for decisions that it takes."

Mr Adjetey gave a ruling after the Majority and Minority disagreed over a statement on a constitutional instrument for fixing the date for the general election delivered by Mr Doe Adjaho, the Minority Chief Whip.

Mr Adjaho had urged the house to direct the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Attorney General to appear before the Committee of the Whole to explain why no instrument on the fixing of the date for the General Election had been laid before the House.

The member drew reference from previous Parliaments and said: "It is my view that there is the need for a Constitutional Instrument to give legal backing to the date that the Presidential and Parliamentary elections would be held."

He argued that the 21-day rule for maturity of certain instruments might hinder the fixing of a date for the elections.

Mr Felix Owusu Adjapong, the Majority Leader, said the Electoral Commission was an independent constitutional body and should be seen as such.

"We would not interfere in the affairs of any constitutional independent body. We believe in the independence of the Electoral Commission."

He said if the EC chose to do things differently on the fixing of a date for election this year, "then that may be its style. Government would not want to speak on behalf of the Electoral Commission. Nana Akufo Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, pondered over which of the various instruments might be affected by the 21-day maturity rule since the constitutional instrument issued by the Speaker on the summoning or recall of Parliament was not affected by the rule.

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