The Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Bismark Aborbi-Ayitey, has sued the Electoral Commission (EC) for its decision to hold a by-election on January 31, 2019, for the vacant parliamentary seat in the area.
According to the suit filed at the Supreme Court, the date set out by the EC exceeds the 60-day period outlined by the 1992 Constitution for organising such by-elections.
He is seeking a declaration by the apex court that the 31st January 2019 date for the exercise is inconsistent with and in contravention of Article 112 (5) of the Constitution.
He therefore wants the court to order the Electoral Commission to organize the by-election before or by January 26, 2019, as against EC’s stipulated January 31, 2019.
Attached to the suit is the Attorney General as the first defendant.
Article 112 (5) of the 1992 Constitution states: “Whenever a vacancy occurs in Parliament, the Clerk to Parliament shall notify the Electoral Commission in writing within seven days after becoming aware that the vacancy has occurred; and a by-election shall be held within thirty days after the vacancy occurred, except that where the vacancy occurred through the death of a member, the by-election shall be within sixty days after the occurrence of the vacancy.”
The January 31, 2019 date by the EC for the by-elections exceeds the 60-day period by about 10 days following the death of then Member of Parliament (MP) of the area, the late Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko on November 21, 2018.
The applicant is therefore seeking an “order of this Honourable Court directed at the 2nd defendant (EC) to conduct and supervise the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency by-election not later than the 26th of January 2019, in consonance with the mandatory constitutional time frame.”
The Ayawaso West Wuogon seat became vacant on November 21 last year following the demise of Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko who then occupied it.
His wife, Lydia Seyram Alhassan over the weekend filed her nomination at the Electoral Commission to contest the seat of her late husband.
She is running on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and is set to face opposition from the candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Delali Brempong, in the upcoming by-election slated for January 31, 2019.
She indicated that she has the desire of continuing with the developmental projects started by her late husband, which include the completion of a district hospital, rehabilitation of the Santana market and the completion of the Dzorwulu-Abelenkpe road.