Late MP’s Wife Goes Straight Into Parliament Without By-Election

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Mrs Ophelia Hayford, wife of the late Mfantseman NPP MP, Ekow Quansah Hayford, will take her seat in parliament without any by-election

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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”.

Article 112 of the Ghana Constitution spelt out the guidelines for summoning in parliament and dissolution of the House.

It states:

“(1) A session of Parliament shall be held at such place within Ghana and shall commence at such time as the Speaker may, by constitutional instrument, appoint.

(2) A session of Parliament shall be held at least once a year, so that the period between the last sitting of Parliament in one session and the first sitting of Parliament in the next session does not amount to twelve months.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article fifteen percent of members of Parliament may request a meeting of Parliament; and the Speaker shall, within seven days after the receipt of the request, summon Parliament.

(4) Subject to clause (2) of article 113 of this Constitution, a general election of members of Parliament shall be held within thirty days before the expiration of the period specified in clause (1) of that article; and a session of Parliament shall be appointed to commence within fourteen days after the expiration of that period.

(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.















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