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General News of Thursday, 30 April 2020


Summon EC to brief MPs on preparedness for election 2020 amid coronavirus – Haruna Iddrisu

Haruna Iddrisu, Minority leader in Parliament Haruna Iddrisu, Minority leader in Parliament

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu is asking parliament to summon officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) to brief MPs on the Commission’s preparedness towards the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Contributing to the business statement of the House Thursday, the MP for Tamale Central said the EC must let the people of Ghana know of its preparedness for the elections despite the outbreak of the deadly novel coronavirus in the country.

“The independent Electoral Commission owes this country and members of parliament a duty; they will have to be summoned to come to give us their roadmap as to their preparedness in view of Covid-19,” he requested.

With just eight months to the general elections, the EC is yet to begin the compilation of a new voters’ register due to the coronavirus outbreak which has caused government to ban large social gatherings across the country.

Registration for the controversial voters’ register was scheduled to start from April 18 but was later suspended indefinitely.

People have urged the EC to use the old voters’ register contending that if it was fit for the District Level elections, then it should be fit for the general election, something the EC said is part of the options currently on its table for consideration.

“They [EC] need to apprise this House of their level of preparedness for the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections,” Mr Iddrisu stated..

Mr Iddrisu said in the event the EC officials are unable to brief the Committee of the whole, at least they should appear before the budget committee.

For him, Ghana’s democracy which has evolved over the years, will survive the covid-19 pandemic which has so far infected 2,074 people in the country with 212 recoveries and 17 deaths.

Responding, Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said the EC will at appropriate time brief the house on its preparedness for the December 2020 general elections.

“I believe in the fullness of time, the EC will come to brief the House or at least the Budget Committee on where they are in respect of their own state of preparedness [for the elections]”.

He assured that everything will be done by the EC to ensure that the elections come off as scheduled as President Nana Akufo-Addo has clearly indicated he will not clinch on to power beyond his mandate.

“Suffice it to say however that the president of the republic at various forum, given strong indication that he does not intend to stay one day beyond the constitutional mandate given to him; that is up to the midnight of January 6,” the Suame MP stated.

He expressed the hope that the coronavirus situation in the country “will not deteriorate or degenerate”.

“We shall witness some improvement in the system,” he assured.