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If MP is removed, party that holds the seat should appoint replacement - Kofi Bentil

Kofi Bentil, Vice President of Imani Africa has called for the amendment of the constitution of Ghana to allow a political party whose member of Parliament is removed to appoint a replacement instead of holding a by-election.

Kofi Bentil

According to the private legal practitioner, by-elections are expensive, a waste of state resources, and are associated with a lot of acrimony.

Mr Bentil took to his Facebook page on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, to make the proposition.

He further suggested that until the status quo is amended, other political parties can agree to save the nation from the waste of resources and the rancour that characterises such by-elections by not contesting the vacant seat in question.

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"Bye elections are wasteful rancorous dangerous and of negative overall value.

"I’ve said before and still believe we must amend our constitution so that the party which holds the seat appoints a replacement of an MP is removed.

"Till then, the parties can agree not to contest so we can save the money and stress.

"Of course, those people won’t agree so we will go through the pointless pain each time," Bentil wrote on Facebook.

Meanwhile, a Facebook user who identifies himself as Hon. Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng disagreed with Bentil. In his view, Bentil's suggestion flies in the face of good governance principles.

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"In many cases the vote is for the candidate and not necessarily the party. Some say that was the case with Peter Amewu for Hohoe.

"In some cases if it is a swing seat, a bye election can serve as a mid-term barometer of the government's popularity or otherwise.

You want people to be shooed in without the fire of an election?

"There have been several instances that even in a party stronghold the candidate chosen by the delegates has been rejected by the voters.

"Wenchi in 2020 is a clear example. The party got it wrong.

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"Beyond all is a fundamental principle that you do not impose a candidate on electorates out of the convenience of avoiding costs and what not and it is very much worth it. Democracy is not cheap or convenient," he wrote.

MP for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson’s seat risks being declared vacant to pave the way for a by-election after he lost an appeal against a High Court ruling that said that he held dual citizenship at the time he filed for nomination to represent his constituents, a factor that disqualifies anyone from becoming an MP in Ghana.

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