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Election 2020: Speaker Urges Citizens To Be Law-Abiding To Ensure Peaceful Elections

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The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has urged citizens to be law-abiding to ensure peaceful elections, as Ghana prepares for the December polls.

“As the 2020 general election approaches, I wish you all the very best and I pray that our nation will be law-abiding, as we have always been, and that every official will play his or her part according to the requirements of the laws of our country,” he said.

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The speaker, in his final remarks at the closing session of the Third Meeting of the Seventh Parliament yesterday, noted that, to ensure peaceful elections, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), the Minister of National Security, the Inspector General of Police and other stakeholders had all appeared before the House to outline their preparedness towards the elections.

“I am confident that together we can have credible, orderly, fair and peaceful elections,” he said.

Dissolution

Prof Oquaye called  on all parliamentarians to work in tandem as the House began preparations towards the dissolution of the Seventh Parliament on January 7, 2021.

He noted that, for the transition process to be smooth, it was important that members from both sides of the House worked together.

“The House is making adequate preparations towards the dissolution of the Seventh Parliament and I urge all of you to work in tandem for a seamless transition,” he said.

Major events

He recounted some of the major events that happened in Parliament, such as the briefing by the Minister of the Interior, the presentation of the budget for the first quarter of 2021, as well as the visit by the President, in that sequence.

“In the course of the meeting, a parliamentary delegation paid a commemorative visit to the family of the late Member of Parliament for Mfantseman, Mr Ekow Hayford, who was murdered by armed men, on Monday, October 12.

“That compelled the Minister of the Interior to come to the House and announce certain arrangements for the security of members,” he noted.

Cooperation

On cooperation, the speaker expressed his excitement at the growing cooperation between the Executive and the Legislature.

“Last Tuesday, the House was privileged to receive the President of the country to inaugurate four facilities under Parliament’s physical infrastructure enhancement project and we are most grateful for this action.

“The cooperation between the Executive and the Legislature has been impressive, particularly with regard to increases in our budget allocations,” he said.

Prof. Oquaye noted that all the bills that were passed during the Third Meeting of the Seventh Parliament were mostly “progressive bills” that would inure to the benefit of the country.

Also, during the session, an inter-governmental action group against money laundering in West Africa paid a courtesy call on Parliament, he said.

He said the group used the opportunity to call on West African countries to establish and implement anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism measures.

25 bills presented

Giving an account of the businesses conducted by the House during the meeting, the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, in a speech read on his behalf, said 25 bills were presented to the House and referred to the appropriate committees for consideration and report.

He said the House debated, considered and passed 17 of those bills.

“A number of committee reports on credit facility agreements, financing agreements, loan facility agreements, annual reports, request for tax waivers, among others, were also adopted by the House during the period.

“Four instruments which were introduced in the House during the second meeting entered into force during this meeting and 19 instruments that were introduced in the course of this meeting also came into force,” he said.

He said six instruments that were introduced, however, did not attain the statutory 21 sitting days to enable them to come into force.

“It is my hope that, barring any mishap, the House will be able to sit after the elections to enable these instruments to enter into force in the course of time,” he said.

The Majority Leader also called for peaceful elections and urged all political parties to desist from politicizing the issue of security in the country.

Reform needed

Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, also called for peaceful, free and fair elections.

“It is important to remind ourselves that we remain Ghanaians and we should go into December 7th as such and emerge out of it as Ghanaians, guaranteeing the peace, security and stability of the country,” he noted.

He pointed out that there was a threat to the country’s democracy in the name of monetisation and urged all political parties to accept the necessary reforms.

“You cannot doubt the competence and experience of many of the experienced hands we are losing when it comes to the craft of law making and their dedication and commitment to duty.

“We need to reform our primary process in order to protect experience in the House,” he said.

 

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Akufo-Addo directs needy student who scored 8As to be given full scholarship

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President of the Republic of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has directed the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat to grant full scholarship to one Thomas Amoaning of Adeiso Senior High School.

Master Amoaning is reported to have scored 8As in the 2020 West Africa Senior Schools Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).

His plight made rounds on social media given his background.

“As a normal practice and taking into consideration the socio-geographical background of the student, HE the President has expressly directed the Ghana Scholarships Secretariat to grant full scholarship award to the student for his tertiary studies,” a release from the Secretariat on Tuesday, November 24 said.

“The Scholarships Secretariat has subsequently established contact with the student and parents and will on Friday 27th November, 2020 pay a visit to the family to discuss their needs in detail,” the release signed by Registrar of the Secretariat Kingsley Agyemang said.

Meanwhile, the Secretariat announces for the information of WASSCE graduates that there will be a “big announcement” on Tuesday, December 1.

“The retooled Ghana Scholarships Secretariat is now strategically positioned to effectively deliver on its mandate of awarding scholarships to Ghanaians for tertiary education,” the release said.

 

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Election 2020: Supreme Court sets target for election petition

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The Supreme Court is set to deal with any election petition that will arise out of the 2020 elections in 42 days maximum.

Justice Jones Dotse, the Chairperson of the Election Manual Review Committee, any suit challenging a presidential election will only be allowed from contestants in the election and only against the winner and the Electoral Commission.

“There’s a nice write-up on the manual which indicates that the Supreme Court is proposing that should there be any dispute, it will not go beyond 42 days,” he stated.

This is to prevent a repetition of the election petition of 2012 which dragged for eight months.

Governance expert said it affected the country as the government of the day was too cautious in taking certain decisions.

The business community was also affected as a lot of investors wanted to be certain the direction the country was going before investing in the country.

Speaking at the launch of the 4th Edition of the Manual on Election Adjudication, Justice Jones Dotse disclosed that processes on who can sue and join the suit has been spelt out.

“And there are major significant changes in the law in the sense that now if you are interested in questioning or initiating a presidential election dispute, you must have been a candidate in that election and you can only sue the one who has been declared as the winner by the EC and the EC, that’s all. ” he added.

On his part, Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah indicated the readiness of the Judiciary to deal with all election related suits.

“While not everyone will agree with our decisions, I can assure you that they (political) have all seen and motivated by the national interest underpinned by first and foremost the judicial principles for which the judiciary stands for geared towards the sanctity of our motherland,” he said.

He added, “Our judges had sufficient training to better improve their capacity in handling dispute that might emerge after these elections.”

The Chief Justice assured “Ghanaians of the thoroughness, professionalism and patriotism with which we approach and dispense our duties that would never change.”

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I’m Sure I Would Have Two Children By Now If I Were In Bed With Nana Addo-Jean Mensah

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The chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, madam Jean Mensa has rubbished claims that she is trying to rig the upcoming election in favour of the ruling New Patriotic party.

Answering a question at a training programme organized by the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) on Tuesday 24th November 2020, madam Jean said I’m sure I would have two children by now, because it’s been two years……

She made this statement in response to a question of being in bed with the government.

According to her she and her colleagues are doing all it takes to ensure free, fair and transparent election on 7th December and that and that “even if the president was your uncle or your father, there’s nothing, absolutely nothing you can do.”

There has been constant allegation from the opposition National Democratic Congress Party that the commission is doing all it takes to rig the upcoming election in favour of NPP.

 

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