THE ELECTIONS BILL AND THE CONSTITUTION

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The Attorney General and Minister of Justice has acknowledged what has been published in Foroyaa since the beginning of the scrutiny of the Elections Bill that there is contradiction between its content and the provisions of the 1997 Constitution.

In law making, a Bill must be subjected to a committee stage where it is scrutinised. The first test of the provision of a Bill is to test its constitutionality. No provision of a Bill should be allowed to stand and pass by the National Assembly if it violates the provisions of the Constitution.

It is therefore a waste of time to include provisions of a Bill that will not stand the test for scrutiny for constitutional compliance. The major emphasis of the government should have been the promulgation of the Constitution of the third republic so that every reform will be in line with constitutional provisions.

The Attorney General however has said there will be amendments of the 1997 Constitution to accommodate the provisions of the Bill. The question that should be asked is whether the passing of the Bill will be suspended until the amendment of the Constitution. If not they will be putting the cart before the horse.