The Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper says it is unlikely Parliament will amass the two-third majority needed to change the date of the general election to November 7.
Abdul Malik Kweku Baako predicts that the Minority mainly the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is set to scuttle any consensus.
“At the end of my intelligence gathering, it became clear that because of the EC’s litigation in court, the EC’s own conduct and other things there is a groundswell of a belief particularly within the New Patriotic Party that 7 November should be deferred to 2020,” he said on the Joy FM/MultiTV’s news analysis programme Newsfile on Saturday.
After scaling several constitutional hurdles, the Constitutional Instrument (C.I) to change the December 7 date is finally before Parliament for approval. After 21 days at Parliament, the amendment bill will come up for a vote.
Unlike other bills, this amendment bill needs a super-majority before it can become law. It means if any side of the divide has issues with the bill, the whole deal to change the date is scuttled.
Even though he “sincerely” wants the November 7 date approved, Mr Baako said the information he has gathered points to the opposite.
Reacting to a challenge over his information, the ace journalist said: “I will be shocked if the two-third majority should be approved.”
“This will fly in the face of the intelligence gathering that I have,” he said.
Vice Chairman of the Constitutional and Legal Committee, George Loh, has pointed out that members of the committee have unanimously approved the change of date pending approval of the House.
Parliament’s Constitutional and Legal Committee held a public forum on Monday to solicit opinions from the public regarding the Constitutional Amendment. Although he acknowledged that it will not be easy to get the needed votes, Parliament is working to build the required consensus.
Already some civil societies including political parties want the Committee to investigate the preparation of the Electoral Commission (EC) before approving the bill.
Back in May 2016, Deputy Minority leader Dominic Ntiwul suggested the Minority could block the move although it agrees in principle about the date change. Raising questions about the EC chairperson’s posture and neutrality, Dominic Nitiwul told Joy News ‘at times she is cheeky’.
Ntiwul complained that it is ‘very clear’ that Charlotte Osei is leaning towards the ruling party, NDC.
Concerning the date change, the NPP leader warned, “we shouldn’t take things for granted.”