Current Parliament can still exist without 2020 elections – Constitutional Lawyer

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Following the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, the political scenes have been affected worldwide including the rescheduling of elections.

It is in this light that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) suspended its 25th April parliamentary primaries indefinitely. However a developing story suggests that the party is aiming at conducting a hand picking elections to avoid the spread of the disease.

But Lawyer Dr.Kojo Addo Tuffour, a constitutional lawyer has warned against such a move advising that it can bring chaos in the party. He also stressed that the current parliament can still be used without an election as the country may be in “emergency” times.

In an interview with host, Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show aired on Happy 98.9FM, he said: “Hand picking persons can bring problems because their [NPP] constitution demands an election. It can pose partiality”.

On his part, a virtual election or an electoral college would be the best possible alternative in this time of the coronavirus pandemic.

“There must be a way such as an electoral college which is well represented or there can be a virtual election. We are not in normal times. So it is better to use an application than hand-picking”, he added.

He, however, pointed out that the constitution allows parliament to extend its stay in times of emergency. He, thus, implied that in the case of this pandemic, it was likely that the current parliament could extend its stay.

When quizzed by Samuel Eshun on what happens to the Speaker of Parliament if that should occur, he answered: “The President appoints the Speaker of Parliament. If he leaves power he lives with the speaker. If that happens, the parliament can elect one person to be the speaker of parliament”.

The General Secretary of the NPP in a media interview, hinted that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party may handpick parliamentary candidates for the 2020 elections, should the party be unable to hold primaries due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

However, a leading member of the party, Dr. Amoako Tuffour, has kicked against this plan as he reasons that doing that will be disastrous for the party at the December 7, 2020 election.

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