Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, has stressed that the holding of a by-election in the event of the death of a Member of Parliament (MP) was a constitutional matter.
According to him, the constitution was clear that a by-election was supposed to take place 60 days after the death of a sitting MP, saying that stance was non-negotiable.
Mr Ofosu-Ampofo was reacting to a question on the call by an MP of the opposition NDC, following the demise of Mr Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko, the MP for the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency, that the party should not field a candidate but rather allow the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the party of the late MP, to find a replacement for him.
Article 112 (5) of the 1992 Constitution says “whenever a vacancy occurs in Parliament, the Clerk of Parliament shall notify the Electoral Commission in writing within seven days after becoming aware that the vacancy has occurred; and a by-election shall be held within 30 days after the vacancy occurred except that where the vacancy occurred through the death of a member, the by-election shall be held within 60 days after the occurrence of the vacancy.”
Mr Ofosu-Ampofo, stating the official position of the NDC, however, said “that is a constitutional matter.
The constitution plainly says there should be a by-election in 60 days and so that is not a decision for the party to make. The law says there should be a by-election and that is exactly what will be done.”
The NDC MP for the Kumbungu Constituency in the Northern Region, Mr Ras Mubarak, had suggested to the NDC and other political parties not to put up a candidate for the Ayawaso West Wuogon seat.
Mr Mubarak wrote on his Facebook wall that “we should have an agreement amongst ourselves that if a sitting MP dies, the party from which he was an MP should select a candidate to serve his remaining term.”
His comment came after the death of the Member of Parliament of the area, Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko, last Wednesday, November 21, 2016.
Mr Agyarko went to the United States to seek medical care.
Mr Agyarko, who was married with seven children, had been the MP for the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency since 2012.
The late MP was a pharmacist and a politician born on December 10, 1957 at Odumase-Krobo in the Eastern Region.
It was also the contention of Mr Mubarak that selecting a member from the NPP will save the country and the various political parties some money.