For sometime now, Ghanaians have been made to understand and believe that this year’s parliamentary and presidential elections will be held on November 7.
This, obviously, represents a change in our Election Day date which used to be December 7, and held every four years.
Since the inception of the 1992 Constitution Ghana has held six general elections, and all these came off onDecember 7, which is what is enshrined in our Constitution.
But the current situation where it is in the public domain that this year’s elections will be held on November 7 is a bit problematic.
In fact it is not only problematic, but confusing to the Ghanaian electorate, to say the least.
It is so because we have all woken up to the fact that despite the belief in many minds that November 7 is a done deal date for the 2016 elections, it is not so.
Indeed we are being told that the November 7 date is yet to be passed into law by Parliament and assented to by the President before we can work with the date.
And though, the constitutional provision which stipulates that elections be held on December 7 is not an entrenched one, it will still require a two-third majority of Parliament for the change to be effected.
That, we must all understand, has not happened!
As it stands now the only election date in our statute books and which every citizen of Ghana knows is December 7. Pure and simple!
Our worry is further deepened by observations made last Tuesday by the Majority and Minority in Parliament.
The Daily Graphic banner story yesterday reported that both the Majority and the Minority have expressed doubts about the EC’s plan to hold this year’s elections on November 7.
While the Minority is worried that the attitude of the EC does not, in way, support consensus building, and for that matter, there could be challenges, the Majority has expressed that the time is not ample enough for the processes of an amendment.
Currently, what we know and are being told so far as the new election date is concerned is that the processes of the constitutional amendment including two gazettes had already been done in March.
The next line of action is for it to be presented to Parliament within 90 days which we have learnt would be sometime in June.
The point must also be established that the constitutional amendment process would involve broad extensive consultations with the general public, and a consideration by the Council of State.
We are, therefore, surprised that if the EC knew all these procedures must be followed before the November 7date becomes constitutional, why did it not start early but spent valuable time in changing its logo among others.
The truth is that majority of Ghanaians do not know that these procedures must be followed to the letter.
Now what they know is that this year’s elections will be held on November 7, and not December 7 as it used to be.
Nevertheless, we still believe the decision by the EC to have our General Elections’ date changed is relevant.
One, in the event that there is a run-off, it can be held in November, and two, allow for time during the transition period.
It is in the light of the above that Today is calling on, particularly Parliament, when the provision gets to the housewithin 90 days, to work with a sense of urgency, to ensure that it receives the legal backing for it to become operational.
We are equally urging the EC to be proactive in making sure that all hurdles are cleared for elections to be held on November 7.
Anything short of that it should be imprinted in our minds that the election date is still December 7.