BREAKING NEWS: Parliament rejects November 7 election date

Parliament has rejected amendments to change the election date to November after it failed to amass 184 votes needed to effect the historic change.

After a secret ballot, the Speaker said Parliament was unable to obtain the 184 needed to pass the bill. The Majority got 125 votes.

The vote quashing the change became predictable after the Minority signaled it would not support the Bill which needed a super majority to succeed.

Debating the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2016, Minority Leader and Suame MP Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said although the Minority agrees in principle to the change, it is disappointed in the sloppy way the EC has handled it.

He argued that in Kenya, important electoral reforms took about 10 months of careful deliberations ahead of their general elections. It pass an amendment barely five months to presidential and parliamentary elections is too late, he suggested.

He condemned the EC for the poor management of the process and said the EC had demonstrated that it was not ready for November 7.
The Minority leader said the EC has a Continuous Registration Exercise to conduct to allow more eligible voters to register.

He believes many could be disenfranchised if the change is effected because the EC would be hurried through other important registration exercise.

But Majority leader Alban Bagbin and Nadowli West MP rebutting said “if you are not ready by November 7, you will not be ready by December 7”.

He said the EC and Parliament has worked closely in the past to take important decisions at seemingly short notice.

He said all parties to the date change have worked hard to get the amendment to this point.
Every person and committee has done its job and it is now the turn of this house to perform its duty.

“This house cannot fail the people of Ghana”, he said.
The Speaker after the debate called for a secret ballot according to Article 104 clause 4 and Standing Order 110.

The Article required that voting should be by secret ballot in relation to matters of election or removal from office.

Elton John Brobbey told Joy News that out of the 148 MP in the Majority caucus, only 125 were present at the time of voting. He said the Majority Whips were working to increase their numbers.

Although the Minority controls 122 MPs, not all of them were present. At a party meeting Wednesday night, the NPP which constitutes the Minority in Parliament agreed to kick against the bill.

With a weakened Majority in Parliament, it was feared the Bill will fail to pass. At things stand, Ghana remains set to vote on December 7, 2016.
The historic change has failed.