Experts Criticize Increase in Parliamentary Seats
Political analysts and electoral experts have criticized the Electoral Commission (EC) intentions to increase the membership of Parliament from the current 200 to 240 in the next elections. They have therefore called on the Commission to suspend efforts to create more Parliamentary seats and subject the proposal to public debate.
The experts are concerned about the impact of the project on the finances of the state, infrastructure development of Parliament, the general impact on the elections and its viability.
They were contributing to a roundtable discussion organized by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) in collaboration with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) on the theme: "Towards Elections 2004 - Demarcations, Political Representation and Elections Outcomes."
The discussion was to offer politicians, academia, donors, media practitioners, government officials and electoral officers the opportunity to dialogue and deliberate on efforts to ensure the credibility of Elections 2004.
The Electoral Commission has made proposals for the increment of the current 200-member Parliament to about 240 for the next general elections.
But the experts have called for the legal interpretation of Article 45 section 5 of the Constitution, which dealt with the demarcation of electoral boundaries. The experts and analysts, who were divided over the meaning of the Article, however, agreed that the Constitutional requirement emphasized that the EC may alter the electoral constituencies.
They, however, failed to agree on what constituted alterations and called for further discussion and legal interpretation as to whether the alteration meant increment or re-aliment of existing constituencies.