General News of Thursday, 31 May 2012
Source: FRONT PAGE Newspaper
By Sammy Agyei
The Honourable Member for Manhyia in the Ashanti regional capital of Kumasi, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has raised issues against the Electoral Commission (EC) and Ministry of Finance and pleading with the leadership of the House to invite the Commissioner to the floor of the House to explain to Ghanaians certain issues relating to the just ended Biometric Voters Registration (BVR).
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) legislator for Manhyia constituency explaining the issues to Front Page said he knows for a fact that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is insisting that the Electoral Commission goes outside the country to register the Ghanaians in diplomatic and missions and the Ghanaian students abroad.
He continued that if the Commission is going to bow to this pressure from the ministry, they would want to know what measures are they putting in place in order not to deprive or to allow Ghanaians living abroad to register in those missions to be taken as employees of these missions.
Stressing his point Mr. Opoku Prempeh, fondly called NAPO, said there should be guidelines on this exercise from the commission and the House should be in known of all the necessary arrangements that will be made to stop registering those who are not on the missions’ employer’s list since anything could happened because he does not understand why Foreign Affairs ministry is insisting as the EC is yet to do their review.
The second issue that the NPP Member of Parliament for Manhyia raised is the continuous registration of voters and how are these modalities being put in place to have continuous registration done and if Ghanaian comes to say he wants to register what does he or she do are some of the things put in place, he asked?
He hinted that the Ministry of Finance has not being forthcoming with funds to the Electoral Commission which he know for a fact and as the commission is preparing to display the provisional Voters Register if care is not taken, it may leads to chaos in the country.
Citing an instance Mr. Opoku Prempeh said the vendors who assisted the Electoral Commission in the registration exercise have not been paid for two months which specifically means that the EC is lack of funds for their work.
He relented that because the Finance ministry is not releasing money timeously to the EC, its hands are tight and that is why they are having such problems.
He also said the Finance minister should also be brought to Parliament answer why is he not releasing funds to the EC at this critical time like this when general elections are just around the corner.
“There are more serious things to do in the country and if we are able to pay CP and Woyome with huge sums of money respectively, then why can’t we get money for our elections in December”? He asked.