The Majority in Parliament is ever ready to debate the motion calling for the rejection of Constitutional Instrument, C.I 126, seeking to amend the law governing elections in the country.
This is according to Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu.
C.I. 126 filed by the Electoral Commission seeks to amend C.I. 91 to allow the Commission to register new voters based on a new set of rules.
The new C.I. if approved by Parliament will remove the voter’s ID card as a registration document and allow for the use of the Ghana Card.
Within the week, Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga filed a motion seeking a two-third majority vote from legislators to reject the Public Elections (Amendment) Regulations 2020 C.I. 126 which is already in Parliament and set to mature in the next 11 sitting days.
The Motion is yet to be admitted by the Speaker, Prof. Mike Oquaye.
If admitted, a date will be scheduled for a full-blown debate to be held on the merits or otherwise.
Speaking in Parliament, the Majority Leader maintained that his side is prepared for the debate if the Speaker admits the motion.
“If what you have told me is right, situating it within the context of Act 11 (7), we shall come there and if Mr Speaker admits it [motion], there will be a full-blown debate on that and we shall know where the places fall,” he said.
The EC has presented the Public Election (Amendment) regulation, 2020 (C.I. 126) to Parliament to amend C.I 91 in order to change the identification requirements passed in 2016.
But it has been relaid multiple times because of various defects, which prompted the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu to question the commitment and competence of the Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa.
Some members of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament have noted that the difficulties experienced in laying the instrument are due to the defects in it.
Aside from the Ghana Card or passport being acceptable documents for registering onto the voters’ register, persons who have already been captured on the new voters’ register can guarantee for others to register.
Per the Constitutional Instrument that was first put before Parliament, “a person who applies for registration as a voter shall provide as evidence of identification one of the following: a passport, a national identification card, or one voter registration identification guarantee form as set out in Form one of the schedule that has been completed and signed by two registered voters.”
Mahama Ayariga is bent on ensuring that Parliament rejects the EC’s request for such amendments to be made to the laws governing elections in Ghana.
Groups against decision
The attempts to amend the law come as the Commission is harbouring plans to embark on a new voter registration exercise.
The plan to compile a new register ahead of the general elections in December has over time sparked controversy, with many parties and groups disagreeing to the move.