Annul Buem Constituency 2020 parliamentary election – A-G

THE Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, has called for the annulment of the 2020 Parliamentary elections in the  Buem Constituency in the Oti Region to enable the constituents of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe (SALL) elect a new Member of Parliament.

He said placement of the SALL areas under the Buem District and an annulment of the Buem parliamentary election, in order to allow the constituents of SALL to vote for a Member of Parliament in the Buem constituency, would eliminate the risk of a violation of article 242(b).

Mr Dame made the call when he addressed Parliament on the status of the four communities in Accra yesterday.

The A-G said that the problems of the SALL people began in November 2020, when Parliament allowed the local Government(Guan District Assembly) (Establishment) Instrument, 2020 (L. I. 2416)for the creation of the Guan District, which had been laid before Parliament on Tuesday, October 6,  2020, to come into effect.

He said on Monday, November 9, 2020 (less than a month before the December 2020 elections), L. I. 2416 came into force after having satisfied the constitutional prerequisite of being laid before Parliament for twenty-one sitting days and same had not been annulled by Parliament.

He said the areas carved into the Guan District by L. I. 2416, were hitherto, part of the Jasikan District.

The A-G noted that consequent on the enactment of L. I. 2416, the four traditional areas of SALL were placed under the new Guan District and ceased to be part of the Jasikan District.

He stated that this development necessarily required the Electoral Commission to create a new constituency for the SALL areas (called the Guan Constituency), as the Commission took the view thatto allow for them to remain within the Buem Constituency would unleash another constitutional anomaly of having the Member of Parliament (MP) for Buem being a member of both the Jasikan and Guan Districts at the same time.

“It is noted that article 242 (b) of the Constitution provides that: “A District Assembly shall consist of….(b) the Member or Members of Parliament for the Constituencies that falls within the area of authority of the District Assembly as members without right to vote.

Mr Dame argued that a constituency must, therefore, fall within the area of authority of District Assembly and a member of Parliament is required to be a member of one District Assembly and no more.

The A-G stated that the Electoral Commission in its quest to ensure a due exercise of the franchise by the people of SALL proceeded to take steps to create a constituency for the areas forming part of the newly created Guan District,i.e. SALL, by amending the Representation of the People (Parliamentary Constituencies) Regulations, 2020 (C.I. 128), as well as the District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units Regulations, 2019 (C.I. 119) and copies of the Draft Constitutional Instruments were submitted to the Office of the Attorney General by correspondence on November 13, 2020.

He said the office of the A-G in a letter dated  November, 18, 2020, forwarded the draft Representation of the People (Parliamentary Constituencies) (Amendment) Instrument, 2020, and comments thereon to the Electoral Commission for their consideration.

Mr Dame said the office of the A-G particularly drew the attention of the Electoral Commission to the limited time available for the dissolution of the Seventh Parliament, having regard to clause (7) of article 11 of the Constitution which requires twenty-one sitting days for the draft Instrument to come into force after being laid in Parliament.

He said there is a pending suit in High Court, Hohoe, challenging the validity of the election of Mr Kofi Adams as member of Parliament for the Buem Constituency on account of a denial of the right to vote of the SALL people in the December 2020 Buem Parliamentary election.

The A-G said an adjudication of that suit would be instructive in the determination of whether the people of SALL should be allowed to vote for a member of Parliament in the Buem constituency or not.


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