The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has threatened to block the laying of the Constitutional Instrument (CI) that seek to make the Ghana Card the sole document to register unto the electoral role for the 2024 elections if the Electoral Commission (EC) does not brief the House.
The Speaker said procedurally, it was proper for the House to be briefed to understand the rationale behind the Instrument.
“Both procedure and substantive law must be followed. I will not allow any such instrument in this house laid in this House until I [and the House] am briefed. That is the proper thing to do together with the provisions of the constitution.
“It is in their interest to proceed to have the pre-laying before anything can be submitted and be captured by our Order Paper. That I believe is sufficient notice to all,” he said.
Mr Bagbin issued the warning at yesterday’s proceedings in Parliament, Accra.
It came after the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, protested the omission of the EC on the business schedule for next week as presented by the Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh Dompreh.
The Speaker said in as much as the EC is an independent institution of state, that independence did not immune it from the scrutiny of Parliament.
“We are not subject to the control of any arm of government or institution of state. So the EC, the Bank of Ghana and the Judiciary should take note that their independence doesn’t mean that that independence has ousted Parliament from performing its functions. The proper thing must be done.”
The Minority Leader and MP for Tamale South wanted the EC and the National Identification Authority to compare their numbers as the election management body readies to rely on the NIA data for the compilation of the register.
To Mr Iddrisu, the decision by the EC to use the Ghana Card as the sole document for registration could disenfranchise thousands of Ghanaians.
“We will not, Mr Speaker, accept any attempt by the EC to disenfranchised any Ghanaian because they want to rely on an identity card which is not available to Ghanaians and we mean serious business on this matter. That right, we will jealously safeguard to protect the provisions of Article 42.”
Mr Dompreh, responding to the concerns of the Speaker and the Minority Leader said omitting the EC and the NIA on the schedule for next week was an oversight.
He said efforts would be made to bring the leadership of the two institutions before the House.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI