Politics

Minority, Majority leaders urge EC boss to “up her game”

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, is threatening a vote of no confidence motion against the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Madam Jean Mensa, if she does not “up her game.”

He said the performance of the Commission in the discharge of its duty ahead of the 2020 polls, vis-à-vis the periodic update of the electoral register and other essential activities was below par.

According to Mr Iddrisu, who is also the Member of Parliament for Tamale South, despite a GH¢373 million financial commitment to Commission in 2018, it utilised only GH¢51 million leaving out some of its functions.

“The data system of the EC today cannot even be used to conduct even a district assembly election” the Minority Leader said whiles commenting on a statement made on the floor of the House yesterday.

He explained that despite provisions by Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution that any Ghanaian citizens who turn 18 years be registered to vote in public elections and referenda, the Commission failed to do so last year despite the finances at its disposal.

“The Electoral Commission and the Commissioner must up her game or else we will call for her head. We will pass a vote of no confidence in her if she does not up her game,” he emphasised.

In his view, it was not beyond Ghana to have an Electoral Commission that would be available on daily basis to register Ghanaians who attained the voting age, a feat he said the Commission must thrive to attain.

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, on his part could not agree more with his colleague.

He said if the registration were done on a daily basis as was suggested by the Minority Leader, the phenomenon of age cheating would be minimised or eliminated.

On the data of the Commission, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said Ghana was on the verge of losing the data at the centre in a few months if care was not taken.

“Mr Speaker, I am afraid for the stability of that data centre. If care is not taken, in the next few months, we may lose it and if we lose it…”

“As we speak today, we don’t know whether there is going to be any new registration. If there is going to be new registrations, the right equipment must be procured but no such has been done by the Electoral Commission,” he noted.

Expressing concern over why the commission must be proactive in preparing for upcoming elections, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said it took at least six months for voting equipment to be manufactured and at least three months to test them and acquaint staff with them.

With all these yet to be done, the Suame MP asked: “So Mr Speaker, what is going to happen to the district level elections which must be held latest September [this year]?”

“As things stand now, it may be difficult to hold the district level elections and that is the seriousness of it,” he observed, adding that “it should not go into 2020……so we must urge the EC to act speedily and timeously to deliver the district level elections latest September.”

The Okaikwei Central, MP, Patrick Boamah, in a statement called for support for the EC by all stakeholders as it prepares to implement the Representation of Peoples Amendment Act in the 2020 elections, as directed by the Supreme Court.

The ROPAA, passed in 2006 is an act of Parliament which gives Ghanaian citizen abroad to vote in presidential election in their countries of residence.

BY JULUS YAO PETETSI

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