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Attorney-General withdraws Bill on referendum from Parliament

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The Government through the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice has successfully withdrawn the Bills to amend article 55 (3) and 243(1) of the 1992 constitution.

This was done in accordance with the president’s directive issued on December 1, 2019, as he addressed the nation on the need to withdraw the controversial referendum slated for December 17, 2019 to be held alongside elections of District Assembly and Unit Committee members.

The A-G, Gloria Akuffo made this known to Journalists in Parliament during a joint press conference addressed by her, together with The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, the Majority Leader, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama and Leader of government business in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonso.

….ln exercise of the power conferred on the Electoral Commission by Article 51 of the Constitution, the referendum, (approval of bill to amend article 55 of the Constitution) Regulations, 2019 were made on July 3, 2019 to among other things amend, amend article 55(3).

The purpose of these Regulations is to regulate the conduct of a Referendum by the Electoral Commission to approve the Bill to amend clause 3 of article 55 of the Constitution to allow political parties to

sponsor candidates for election to District Assemblies or lower local government units.

Earlier in Parliament the Minority, led by Haruna Iddrisu,  described the president’s withdrawal pronouncement as  unconstitutional.

But in a sharp rebuttal, the Majority Leader discounted the issue raised by the minority  by saying, that the president has the right to do what he did.

Mr. Kyei-Mensah Bonso referred to article 108 of the 1992 constitution to defend the president’s actions.

Aricle 108-Parliament shall not, unless the bill is introduced or the motion is introduced by, or on behalf of, the President – (a) proceed upon a bill including an amendment to a bill, that, in the opinion of the person presiding, makes provision for any of the following.

Story by Edzorna Francis Mensah

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