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Majority withdraws CI73, offers replacement

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Accra , Sep 04, GNA - The controversial Representation of the People (Parliamentary Constituencies) Instrument 2012 was for the second time withdrawn on Tuesday by the Majority Leader, Cletus Avoka, and replaced by a new one without any form of identification.

        The development attracted the ire of the Minority who accused the Majority of contravening Parliamentary procedures by seeking to replace a document verbally without presenting a physical copy with a designation to the House, insisting that House’s rules should be observed.

       This led to heated arguments from both sides, with the Minority insisting that if they were not furnished with a copy of the new document, they would object to the laying of the Instrument, prompting Speaker Joyce Bamford Addo, to request the Majority to make a copy of the document available to the Minority for their perusal and thus suspended sitting for 30 minutes.

      The Minority staged a protest when the Constitutional Instrument was laid before Parliament in August 15.

     It was initially labelled CI73, later assumed a new titling-CI77- when the House reconvened yesterday.

     The Minority argued that the document was fundamentally different from the one laid before the House went on recess.

     The Instrument, introduced by the Electoral Commission, seeking to create 45 more constituencies to reflect increased population recorded in the 2010 population and housing census, has generated uproar and debate as to the necessity and propriety of creating such constituencies when elections are so close.

      However, Speaker Bamford Addo told the Minority that they could not “force” her to give numbering to the new document stating that was the prerogative of the government publisher- the Assembly Press.

       She said the Instrument had been referred to the Assembly Press and in due course the House would be informed on its designation.

     Minority leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu argued that it was untoward for the Minority not to have at least a copy of the document that the Majority was seeking to lay and that that contravened the standing orders of the Parliament.

      During the break, the leadership of both sides agreed that copies of the document be furnished members by 1500 hours.

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