Deputy Majority leader of parliament Rasheed Pelpuo says the issues raised by the NPP about the electoral commission’s gazette of president Mahama as president of Ghana, are irrelevant.
He spoke exclusively to Joy News in Parliament House.
On the floor of the house, Wednesday December 19, 2012, the New Patriotic Party raised some issues to a gazette notification from the electoral commission dated 11th December 2012.
The Gazette reads: “ C.I. 80; DECLARATION OF PRESIDENT-ELECT, INSTRUMENT, 2012.
In exercise of the powers conferred on the Electoral Commission under Article 63 (9) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, this Instrument is hereby made.
MR. JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA, the National Democratic Congress Party (NDC) presidential candidate having, in the Presidential election held on the 7th day of December, 2012, pursuant to Article 63 (3) of the Constitution, obtained more than fifty percent of the total number of valid votes cast at the election is hereby declared elected as the President of Ghana at the election of the President.
Given under my hand and seal in Accra this Monday, the 10th day of December,2012”.
It was signed by chairman of the electoral commission DR. KWADWO AFARI-GYAN.
Members of the new patriotic party were however unhappy and said the electoral commissioner erred by omitting December 8th which was also a voting day.
But in an interview with deputy majority leader in parliament, Rasheed Pelpuo, he debunked the NPP’s position.
“My response is that he has not erred. If because of long queues people voted into midnight and others were asked to go and rest until the next day, it does not take away the fact that we voted on the 7th. Dr. Afari-Gyan is also not wrong to sign under his seal because he represents the true picture of who the electoral commission is.” He said.
He also explained why parliament cannot wait 48 hours before swearing in the new parliament.
“Parliament officially ends on the 6th so you cannot swear in a new parliament whilst there is a sitting parliament. When two laws contradict and one is founded on the constitution, it is the constitution that is supreme”. He added.
Meanwhile members of parliament were in a closed door meeting for close to two hours to discuss a review of the Presidents benefits among others.
However Joy News sources say, at the closed door meeting, the MPs took the decision to reject the President’s call for a review of the newly approved salaries for the executive.
This decision is expected to be formally communicated to the President by close of week Friday.
A newly approved increment for the executive which puts the President’s monthly salary at GHC 12,000 and the Vice President’s at GHC 10,500 attracted a lot of public backlash which resulted in a directive from the President in November for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to withhold payments.
The President Mahama also requested parliament to consider a review of the emoluments to align more realistically with the original Prof. Ewurama Addy Committee recommendations.
If confirmed, this would be a firm excercise of the authority of Parliament over what experts said was an executive interference from the President