Since the outbreak of COVID-19, lifestyles, economic activities and almost every facet of the lives of people around the world has been altered.
Many countries across the world have imposed a lockdown, compelling citizens to stay indoors in an attempt to flatten the curve and halt the spread of the virus.
Globally, over 2 million people have been infected while more than 100, 000 have died. In Ghana, 641 people have been infected with the virus with 8 confirmed deaths and some 83 recoveries.
The government initially imposed a 2-week lockdown in Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan areas but this has been extended by an extra week.
With the uncertainties of the time, many have raised questions over the implications of not having general elections in December, as the constitution mandates every four years.
Broadcast Journalist, Paul Adom Otchere, who provided the constitutional possibilities during his Good Evening Ghana show, explained that per the constitution, the President, according to Article 66, is mandated to step down after serving his 4-year term of office which ends on January 7, 2021.
For Members of Parliament, Paul Adom Otchere pointed to Article 113 of the constitution to argue that the life of the parliament comes to an end exactly 4 years after its first sitting, which is also January 7, 2021.
Paul Adom Otchere disclosed that in Article 113 lies a path, he examined to be the most prudent of all three options.
He stated, “Article 113(2) allows Parliament to extend its tenure for at least 12 months and it is specific – it talks about when Ghana is engaged in war. The reason why we think this will not apply is that we have to read ‘Ghana engaged in war’ as a specific act so that the prevalence of COVID-29 does not mean Ghana is engaged in war.”
“The frightening one is Article 113(3). You will have thought that the framers of our constitution were aware that there will be a COVID-19 in 2020 whiles this constitution was still being operated,” he opined adding “it fits perfectly with the COVID-19”
Based on his third possible outcome, he explained, “if we find out that the elections of December 7 cannot occur, then sometime in December or sometime in January, sometime before his tenure expires, President AKufo-Addo can inform the people of Ghana that pursuant to his authority in Article 113(3), he is extending the parliament’s lifetime after it is dissolved on the 6th of January (2021) but before a general election. So he will leave on January 7, Vice President will leave, Ministers and Deputy Ministers will leave but he has the power before he leaves to extend the parliament’s lifetime until the next general election.”
Based on his analysis he concluded, “if the decision is made that the elections cannot occur, Article 113(3) and (4) will apply”
Paul also made reference to two other options, which included the President declaring State of Emergency, which will keep him in power for longer.
Watch the full editorial piece on the possible implications for Ghana should December 7 elections not come off;