July 20, 2016

The Attorney-General, Mrs. Marietta Appiah Brew-Oppong has dismissed proposals calling for the implementation of the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to be deferred to 2020.

According to the A-G, although such proposals are good, the postponement will not be possible since the Constitution does not allow it.
At a public forum organized by the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on July 11, 2016, some stakeholders raised doubts about the preparedness of the Electoral Commission to conduct the 2016 elections in November.

They were of the opinion that the Bill be withdrawn or could be passed whilst deferring the implementation date to the next election year, which is 2020.

But the A-G in response has said since the exercise is a constitutional amendment, its implementation could not be postponed.

Her response was captured in the Report of the Constitutional, Legal & Parliamentary Affairs which was laid on the floor of Parliament on Monday, July 18, 2016.

The Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2016, is seeking to amend article 112(4) of the Constitution to ensure that general elections are held the first Monday of November before the expiration of the tenure of Parliament to ensure an effective and smooth transition.

The proposed amendment was against the backdrop that the dates set aside in respect of the conduct of both Presidential and Parliamentary elections in the country is the 7th day of December while swearing-in of the President takes place on the 7th day of January in the ensuing year.

However, the one month period for the transition of one government to the other, has over the years proved insufficient for a smooth transition particularly, in instances where there is a run-off election as was the case in 2000 and 2008.