As a concerned student and one particular about representation, I am filled with much pain on the future of democracy in our country.
On 28th June, I learned the African Union Hall (Pent) Electoral Commission will appoint its executives for next academic year.
I find this unconstitutional in light of the University of Ghana Students’ Regulation which describes JCR officials as those elected and Article 7(2)(a) of the African Union Hall Constitution which states: “Members of the JCR executive council, except the legal advisor SHALL BE POPULARLY ELECTED into office by the members of the JCR.”
By the use of ‘Shall’, this clause becomes mandatory hence any action taken outside this rule; unconstitutional.
The EC could have as a matter of urgency follow Article 29 of the same constitution which states:
(1) No provision of this Constitution shall be amended or deemed to have been amended or altered whether directly or indirectly by any resolution unless that resolution is in accordance with the relevant provision(s) of this Constitution.
(2) Any member of the JCR supported by at least hundred (100) other members of the JCR shall have the power to introduce an amendment proposal bill.
(3) All amendment proposals shall be submitted to the Legal Advisor who shall
present it to the Ahenfie.
The EC had and still has an option to follow appropriate protocols to file for amends in the constitution to allow elections during reopening of next academic semester or find other appropriate means that will not deny members of the JCR their right to duly elect.
The EC’s acceptance of appointment as the only way to get new officials, irrespective of whatever authority they consulted, makes their intent obvious aside it being gross disrespect of laws in the hall.
Let me make it clear, the Junior Common Room is a reserve of students and they must always be respected.
Few people cannot use unconstitutional means to decide the fate of the many students whose interest will be represented by these leaders about to be appointed.
I will urge all well-meaning students to oppose this attempt by the EC to disenfranchise the over 2000 students in the hall.
Students must have the opportunity to elect officials that will lead them.
The EC of Pent can take clue from the modus operandi of the Electoral Commission of Ghana especially from the recent issue which has to do with compilation of a new voters register.
“Every law the people has not ratified in person is null and void- is, in fact, not a law at all” – Jean Jacques Rousseau.
Written by: Nathaniel Konadu Opoku.
Student, University of Ghana.