COVID-19 not an emergency to trigger postponement of 2020 elections –Nana Obiri Boahen

Deputy General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Obiri Boahen, has indicated that the novel coronavirus pandemic is not a kind of emergency that should lead to a postponement of the upcoming 2020 general elections.

For him, COVID-19 does not fit into emergencies anticipated by the 1992 Constitution  that could trigger a postponement of the general elections.

“Whether in purposive interpretation of the constitution or ordinary interpretation, COVID-19 is not an emergency situation as the framers of the constitution clearly stated.  So let’s do away with that argument; We have not gotten to that,” he noted.

Lawyer Obiri Boahen’s comments come after some individuals and groups suggested that the country postpone the general elections scheduled for December 7, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among individuals who have championed this cause is the leader and founder of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Mr. Akwasi Addai Odike, who, on several occasions, has insisted that it would be better to postpone the elections due to the current situation being experienced by the country – the country’s battle to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease.

He has also called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to do well to postpone the election in order to safeguard the safety of Ghanaians as holding the elections could be an avenue to further spread the virus.

Mr Odike, who is also a shrewd businessman, has noted in  other statements  that the current situation of coronavirus could trigger a state of emergency if it persists till the day of the general elections.

But lawyer Obiri Boahen, in an interview with Nhyira FM in Kumasi monitored by,  insisted that those suggesting a postponement of the elections do not understand the constitution, adding that legal matters are not about individual interpretations

 “It[ interpretation of the constitution] is not subjective but objective interpretation,” he said.

 “An emergency situation could be when Ghana is at war with other countries like Togo or Burkina hence we must ignore that argument…Those who suggest the postponement of the elections hold no argument”, he explained.

“It can’t be possible to postpone the 2020 elections. The framers of the constitution clearly indicated that there would be elections after every four years on December 7.

You can’t shift it to 8th or 6th of December, therefore, when the time comes you must vote”, he claimed.

Meanwhile the Electoral Commission has announced that the compilation of the new voter register will begin in the latter part of June.

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