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Tema Mantse calls for change in by-election laws

The industrial City King, Dr. Nii Adjei Kraku II, has bemoaned the perpetual spectre of violence that lurks over the country anytime there is a Parliamentary by-election.

He has therefore proposed to the lawmakers to come up with legislations to end the vicious cycle.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra on by-election related violence, Nii Tema suggested that the current constitutional arrangement that mandated that a by-election be held when a sitting MP stepped down or died mid-way into a four-year tenure, be scrapped.

“Rather, I propose that when a sitting MP leaves his Parliamentary seat before his tenure ends, his party be allowed to maintain the seat till the four-year tenure ends…his party can then organise an internal primary to elect his or her replacement for the rest of the tenure,” Nii Tema proposed.

The Tema Mantse said, a recalibration of the Constitution to give the four-year security of tenure to Political parties in respect of Parliamentary seats they win during general election, would be a creative way of ending the perennial violence and tensions that characterised Parliamentary by-elections.

“Not only will it prevent the violence and tensions, it will also be less expensive for the country, less stressful for the Electoral Commission, and easier for the law enforcement agencies to manage,” Dr. Adjei Kraku II said.

Nii’s call comes in the aftermath of the violent parliamentary by-election at Ayawaso West Wuogon, which resulted in the shooting of some 18 people in front of the house of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC)’s candidate for the by-election, Delali Kwasi Brempong.

“If you consider the fact that, this violent by-election follows up on almost every other by-election that we have had-Chereponi, Atiwa, Talensi and Ayawaso west Wuogon by-elections among others – then you begin to see that we need to do something creative about the problem before it gets out of hand,” Nii said.

He pointed out that his proposal could not be far fetched because the kind of arrangement that he was talking about already existed at the Presidential level.

“Indeed, in the event that a sitting President dies in office, a national by-election is not held to elect a new President. The party in power continues to remain in power with the sitting President’s vice, governing for the rest of the tenure of the deceased President.”

He said the arrangement was followed to the letter, when the late President Mills died in office, and the baton of leadership fell on former President John Dramani Mahama.

Source: GNA

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