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Not Even Speaker Can Disallow Government Business In Parliament – Majority Leader On Minority’s Objection To EC’s CI

The Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, says not even the Speaker of Parliament can stop the Electoral Commission from laying it’s controversial Constitutional Instrument in the House.

EC’s new CI seeks to make the Ghana Card the sole means of identification to register as a voter.

The Minority caucus is however up in arms against the EC over this regulations in the CI which they say will disenfranchise eligible voters and rig the election for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu explained that they will continue to dialogue to reach a consensus. He pointed out however, that neither the Speaker nor the members of the Minority can prevent the laying of the document.

“The Speaker has no business in what business is transacted in Parliament, I wouldn’t say that at all. Except to say that no Speaker has the right to also say that I will not allow government business to be transacted. No Speaker has that authority. Period!”

According to him, as established in Article 11 of the 1992 Constitution, those not in favour of the CI can oppose it.

According to the Majority Leader, the NDC is simply opposing new ideas which will improve the country’s electoral system.

“Let’s not forget that anytime improvement is coming into the system – migrating from opaque boxes to transparent boxes, from thumb-printed ID cards to picture ID cards, from black and white to coloured, now the introduction of biometrics – every single one of them has been opposed by the NDC, why?” He quizzed.

He added that those opposing the CI, are engaged in “selling palpable untruth.”

“When the CI comes into motion, this is going to be continuous on a daily basis so you turn 18, you register… Ghana Card is the one that is going to guarantee continuous registration, the CI is the one that is going to guarantee continuous registration. So colleagues, let no one throw dust in the eyes of Ghanaians,” he urged.

Meanwhile, responding to claims that some persons may be disenfranchised, he said, “there has never been an instance that some Ghanaians have not been disenfranchised in the voting.”

This, he explained, is because registration for election ceases 60 days before the election therefore citizens who turn 18 during that period are automatically disenfranchised.

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