Parliament has rejected the Election Amendment Bill seeking to change the month of voting from December 7 to November 7.
The bill could not get the backing of 184 Members of Parliament. 125 MPs voted for the bill while 97 voted against it.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, before the secret vote made a passionate appeal to the House to pass the bill.
She said: “One of the main advantages is that, holding election in November will allow for sufficient time between an election and the handing over of power to an incoming government. This important to ensure adequate preparation and a smooth transition and eliminate situations where former Ministers of State are recalled to provide information to an incoming government on matters of state.”
“In addition to this Mr. Speaker , having an election on the predetermined date of the week also avoids the inconvenience associated with some days of the week such as Fridays and Sundays …Furthermore having an election on a day following a weekend also allows ample time for preparation by the Electoral Commission by way of transportation and distribution of election materials and makes it convenient for the electorates who need to travel to their various constituencies to cast their votes to do so.”
But the Minority Spokesperson on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Joe Osei Owusu, in his submission doubted the readiness Electoral Commission.
According to him, changing the date from December of November could create a tight calendar for the EC.
He said the EC is overwhelmed by events such as the voter register exhibition exercise, training of election officers and procurement of election materials.
His position was backed by Hon. O.B. Amoah (NPP-MP) who said changing the data for this year's election will create some challenges.
Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, in his argument, however, urged the minority to back the bill.
The Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on Monday suggested to the House to pass the Constitutional Amendment bill to pave way for this year’s elections and subsequent elections to be held on the first Monday of November in every election year, a change from the usual December 7 date.