No by-election in Mfantseman following MP’s murder
There will be no by-election in Mfantseman constituency in the Central region following the murder of the MP, Ekow Quansah Hayford.
Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, confirmed this in line with the 1992 constitution.
Professor Oquaye explained that elections cannot be held less than three months into a general election citing Clause (5) and (^) of Article 112 of Ghana’s Constitution.
The country will be heading to the polls on December 7.
The MP was killed on Friday, October 9 which is less than three months to the polls.
“We are not within the three months [grace period] since this incident occurred and therefore there can be no by-election,” Professor Oquaye said. “So, let us not misadvise ourselves”.
The governing New Patriotic Party has selected his wife, Ophelia Hayford, as the party’s replacement.
But she would not go to parliament for the reminder of the late MP’s tenure.
Article 112 of the Ghana Constitution spelt out the guidelines for summoning in parliament and dissolution of the House.
(5) Whenever a vacancy occurs in Parliament, the Clerk to Parliament shall notify the Electoral commission in writing within seven days after the vacancy occurred, and a by-election shall be held within thirty days after the vacancy occurred.
(6) Notwithstanding clause (5) of this article, a by-election shall not be held within three months before the holding of a general election.
Professor Oquaye made the pronouncements in parliament on Wednesday, October 14. This was shortly after first Deputy Speaker Joe Osei Owusu drew the attention of the House to that provision in the Constitution.
“Any vacancy that occurs after September 7, would not trigger a by-election and I think that it is important that in all discussions we recognise this position henceforth,” he said.
He said the Clerk of Parliament would have to notify the Electoral Commission (EC) especially at a time when processes of filing of nominations for the 2020 polls had come to a close.
This would the EC from putting the late MP up as parliamentary candidate in the upcoming elections.
“This is a critical role the House ought to do and I believe strongly that the clerk has done his work.”
The House advised the media to take cognisance of the Constitutional provision to prevent peddling falsehood.