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General News of Saturday, 30 May 2020

Source: GNA

Date for EC’s briefing of Parliament on Election 2020 inconclusive

Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu

The Electoral Commission could not apprise Parliament this week on its preparations so far in respect of the 2020 general election, contrary to expectation.

Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu on Friday said the commissioners were following up on various assignments in the regions and may be back in Accra on June 15, 2020 after which they may avail themselves to the House.

Last week, the Minister told the House that the EC would be in the House for the briefing this week but since the Commissioners were absent, The Minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase, Mohamed Mubarak Muntaka, wanted to know from the Majority Leader when they would be in the House.

The Majority Leader indicated that the matter was examined at the Business Committee Meeting the previous day, but as the Whip was then not around, the Leader used the occasion to tell the House that he was still in talks with the EC to appear before the House for the briefing.

He said the EC had indicated that it would be back from its assignments by June 15 and be in the House on June 16 for the briefing but noted that that would be too distant a time considering the business before the House.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu informed the House that he was still in talks with the commissioners and urging them to appear before the House on June 9, 2020.

He assured the House that latest by Tuesday, June 2, he should be able to tell his colleagues the outcome of the talks.

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader expressed concern about what he called a worrying phenomenon of the increasing number of visitors to Parliament in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, contrary to a directive issued by the Speaker pursuant to the Covid-19 protocols.

“Further to this, the House’s Leadership has also observed that some MPs research assistants and national service personnel are still reporting on the duty contrary to the directive issued by the Right Honourable Speaker pursuant to Covid-19 imperatives,” Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu observed.

On behalf of the Business Committee, he appealed to members and staff of Parliament as well as the other institutions working within the precincts to desist from inviting visitors there, unless it was very compelling to do so.

“In which case, Honourable Members or staff or others concerned must seek clearance from Leadership of their respective Caucuses or the Clerk to Parliament,” the Majority Leader said.