Speaker asks for EC Chair to brief Parliament on December polls

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, has directed the leadership of the Business Committee of the House to programme the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission to come and brief the House on the Commission’s time-table for the December elections.

Speaker Oquaye’s directive followed yet another request by the Minority Caucus for Mrs Jean Mensa to brief the House ahead of the polls. 

Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, who raised the concern said the inability of the Majority leadership to schedule the EC boss to brief the House was worrying. 

He said despite agreements at the committee level on several occasions that the EC boss would attend upon the House only for same to be missing in the business statement was unfortunate. 

The Asawase MP wondered why it was difficult for Mrs Mensa to attend upon the Committee of the Whole despite her predecessors availing themselves to the House in the past.

Presenting the business statement, the programme schedule of Parliament for next week on the floor of the House yesterday, the Majority Chief Whip, Emmanuel Ameyaw Cheremeh, said the EC boss could not be programmed to appear in the House because of the expected Supreme Court ruling. 

Giving his directive, Prof. Oquaye said the next business statement, to be presented Friday July 3, must find space for the EC boss with a specific date. 

Should the committee fail to do so, the Speaker said he would personally fix a date for the EC boss to come and address the House.

He said as had been the case in the past, it was important for the EC Chair to brief the lawmakers who remained critical stakeholders in the country’s democratic dispensation. 

The Minority Caucus had been on a crusade to have the EC boss brief the Committee of the Whole ahead of the crucial presidential and parliamentary polls.  

According to the caucus, it had since April 30 been labouring to have Mrs Mensa summoned to the House, adding political accountability and holding the EC accountable were imperative.

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader, on June 5 assured the House that Mrs Jean Mensa would appear in the House on June 16 but that could not materialise. 

Though Mrs Mensa and other members of the commission appeared before the Special Budget Committee on Tuesday June 16, the Minority wants them before the Committee of the Whole where other lawmakers would have the opportunity to ask questions pertaining to the work of the commission. 

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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