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By-election in an election year is wasteful – Asare

Private Legal practitioner, Professor Kwaku Asare says a by-election held in an election year is wasteful.

He is proposing that the incumbent party should be allowed to nominate a replacement if the lawmaker vacates the seat or dies.

While clearly not the best solution, he explained, it is no worse and probably better, than letting the seat go unfilled.

Prof Asare wants Article 112(6) of the 1992 Constitution which provides that “ … a by-election shall not be held within three months before the holding of a general election,” amended to stop the by-election from being held at all in an election year.

In the view of the US-based professor, a by-election in an election year is wasteful.

In a post on his Facebook page, he said “The Ejisu MP will spend most of the next 7 months campaigning for the impending general election, and will be entitled to ex gratia. Article 112(6) provides that ‘ … a by-election shall not be held within three months before the holding of a general election.’

[Let’s us] amend article 112(6) to read ‘a by-election shall not be held in the year of a general election.’

“Any savings from an avoided by-election, salaries, ex gratia, and other perks will go to fund basic education in that constituency.

“Rather than the seat going unfilled as in article 112(6), We are open to allowing the incumbent party to nominate a replacement. While clearly not the best solution, it is no worse, and probably better, than letting the seat go unfilled.

“But we can have a honest debate about whether we prefer the unfilled seat or a party replacement. Either one is better than the status quo of electing an MP in a by-election to serve in Parliament for 7 months, 4 of which will be used on recess.

“By-elections in an election year is wasteful. Say no to by-elections in a general election year.”

He was commenting on the just-ended by-election in Ejisu held on Tuesday, April 30. The by-election followed the demise of the lawmaker for the area John Kumah.

3news

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