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General News of Thursday, 23 August 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

We are sorry – EC apologises after late IPAC meeting invitation

The Electoral Commission has apologised to political parties after a letter for an Inter-Party Advisory Committee Meeting (IPAC) for Wednesday arrived late.

The apology comes after the National Democratic Congress (NDC) boycotted the meeting, the first of its kind since Jean Mensa was appointed Chair.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss plans for the organisation of limited voter registration exercise ahead of a referendum for the setting up of new regions later this year.

But the NDC was absent at the meeting.

According to them, the invitation for the meeting came at 12:14 pm on Wednesday while the meeting was at 1:00 pm same day.

National Organiser of the party, Kofi Adams told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story there was no way they could have made it to the meeting with the time the invitation was received.

He said the EC’s excuse that the meeting was an emergency is a fallacy and that even if it was, there are appropriate ways of calling such meetings.

“It is unfortunate and the level of incompetence that has been exhibited by this EC is legendary. Never in the history of the working of the EC has political parties received an invitation to an important meeting such as this the way we have received it

“We’ve worked with Dr Afari Gyan, we’ve worked with Madam Charlote Osei, this has not happened,” he added.

Public Relations Officer of the EC Eric Dzakpasu told Joy News Evans Mensah the EC was under pressure.

“It is rather unfortunate we had to give this short notice for this important meeting. It is time pressure,” he said.

Mr Dzakpasu said the Commission is just coming from a crisis and a lot of time has been already spent on reconstituting it and so did not want to miss any more dates on its calendar.

“Time is of critical essence here and if we miss a day or two in our scheduled activities, it is likely to affect the date for the referendum and it will negatively impact subsequent activities.

“We’ve apologised to the parties for the short notice we gave them for the meeting,” added.

He further explained that all the parties that were able to make it to the meeting have been adequately briefed on the reasons why the invitations came at short notice.

The EC, he said would have loved that the NDC came to it with its concerns and allowed the Commission to explain itself like it did with the other parties rather than deciding to boycott the meeting.