Council of State advises Parliament on Constitutional Amendment
The Council of State has given its advice on the new Constitutional Amendment Bill 2016 and sent it to Parliament six days after its first reading and referral to the Council.
The Bill will amend Article 112 of the 1992 Constitution to give constitutional backing to the change of the date for General Election from December 7 to November 7.
The amendment seeks to make the first Monday of November of an election year the tentative national date for general election. The proposed date for this year’s general election – November 7 – also falls on a Monday.
The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, last Tuesday after the first consideration of the Bill, referred it to the Council of State for advice.
Thus, the Speaker, at plenary on Monday, informed the House of the Council’s advice and referred the Bill, together with the recommendation of body of eminent citizens, to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for consideration and report.
One of the recommendations made by the Electoral Reform Committee after the election petition in 2013 was a change in the date for the conduct of general election from 7th December to the first Monday of November, in an election year, in order to have elections on a specific day, instead of having elections on specific dates.
The recommendation is based on the premise that the December 7 date, which has been used in six general elections, is no more convenient because of the lack of time for a hand-over on January 7 the following year when a new party is elected.