Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this Honourable House adopts the Report of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation on the District Level Elections Regulations 2015 (C. I. 89).
In so doing, I read the Report.
The Distr ict Level Elections Regulations, 2015 (C.l. 89) was laid before Parliament on Friday, 20th March, 2015 in accordance with article 11 (7) of the Constitution. Pursuant to Orders 77 and 166 of the Standing Orders of Parliament. Mr Speaker referred the Instrument to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee for Consideration and report.
The Committee referred to the under- listed documents during its deliberations:
i. The 1992 Constitution;
ii. The Standing Orders of Parlia- ment
iii. Electoral Commission Act, 1993 (Act 451);
iv. Local Government Act, 1993 (Act
v. Public Elections Regulations, 2012 (C.l. 75);
vi. District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units Instrument, 2014 (C.l. 85).
Article 45 (b) of the Constitution provides that, the Electoral Commission shall demarcate the electoral boundaries for both national and local government elections. Article 51 also provides that, the Electoral Commission shall, by constitutional instrument, make regulations for the effective performance of its functions under the Constitution or any other law and in particular, for the
registration of voters, the conduct of public elections and referenda, including provision for voting by proxy.
Pursuant to the afore-mentioned constitutional provisions as well as Section 2 of the Electoral Commission Act, 1993 (Act 451), the Electoral Commission is mandated to conduct all public elections and referenda in the country.
Consequently, the Distr ict Level Election Regulations, 2015 (C.l. 89) was presented to Parliament by the Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Nii Osah Mills on behalf of the Hon Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda.
The purpose of the District Level Elections Regulations, 2015 (C.l. 89), is pursuant to article 51 of the Constitution.
The Committee met with the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan and the two Deputy Chairpersons of the Commission. The Committee on Local Government and Rural Development was represented by the Hon. Vice Chairman of the Committee, Nii Amasa Namoale. Officials from the Attorney- General's Department were also in attendance. The Committee is grateful to them for their attendance and input during the deliberations.
The Committee observed that the Electoral Commission postponed the District Level Elections which was originally scheduled for October, 2014 to Tuesday, 3 March, 2015. Prior to this, the District Electoral Areas and Designation
of Units Instrument, 2014 (C.l. 85) which was laid before Parliament on Friday, 21st November, 2014 was to come into force on Monday, 22nd December, 2014. However, ahead of the entry into force of C.I. 85, the Electoral Commission had opened nominations of candidates for the District Assembly or Unit Committee elections. The nominations were closed on Sunday, 21st December, 2014 a day before the Regulations came into force.
The Committee further observed that, an aggrieved candidate for the District Level Elections, Benjamin Eyi Mensah, filed a suit at the Supreme Court, seeking, among others, a declaration that the opening and closing of the filing of nominations of candidates for District Assembly or Unit Committee Elections prior to the entry into force of the Regulations was unconstitutional.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court unanimously held that, the opening and closing of the said nominations pending the entry into force of C. I. 85 on Monday, 22nd December, 2014 was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court insisted that by virtue of article 51 of the Constitution, the Electoral Commission is mandated to specifically make regulations for the District Level Elections.
The Electoral Commission could therefore, not rely on the Public Elections Regulations, 2012 (C.l. 75) to conduct District Level Elections.
The Committee noted that, following the Supreme Court decision, the Electoral Commission caused to be laid the District Level Elections Regulations, 2015 (C.l. 89) on Friday, 20th March, 2015.
Under (C.l. 89), the Electoral areas specified in the District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units Instrument, 2014 (C.l. 85) constitute the electoral areas for the purposes of elections to the District Assembly for the district concerned. C.l. 89 also provides for the nominations of