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Politics of Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Source: Starr FM

Repair your battered image – Minority Leader hits back at EC

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has refuted claims by the Electoral Commission that it sought to attack its integrity and mandate during a press conference.

The EC in a statement, Monday, denied receiving Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from the government as allegedly claimed by the Minority Leader. The EC also stated that it was not under the control of anybody or authority reiterating its stance that it will proceed with the compilation of the new Voters’ register.

But in another response, the Tamale South MP stated that his comments on PPE were in reference to statements made by Dr Serebuor Quaicoo, Director of Electoral Services of the Electoral Commission who had stated that the commission had received enough PPE from the government.

“For the record, I did indicate at the said Press Conference that I was making reference to a statement made by Dr. Serebuor Quaicoo, Director of Electoral Services of the Electoral Commission.

“Dr. Serebuor Quaicoo had indicated on Joy FM’s current affairs programme, Newsfile on Saturday, 18th April 2020 that the EC had received enough PPEs from Government. Unfortunately, Dr. Serebuor had not come out to deny the assertion,” the statement signed by the Minority Leader stated.

Mr Iddrisu also admonished the Electoral Commission to devote enough time to repair its battered image as an institution.

“My counsel to the E.C. is to devote their effort to repair their battered image as an independent Institution (not even subject to the control and direction of the Government) and to win public trust and confidence rather than the usual indecent haste in waiving empty words regarding its integrity.”



HON. HARUNA IDDRISU, MINORITY LEADER AND MP TAMALE SOUTH ON ELECTORAL COMMISSION’S RESPONSE TO THE PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE MINORITY CAUCUS

I have read and listened with utter shock and disappointment, a Press Statement issued by the Electoral Commission and signed by its Acting Director of Public Affairs in response to a Press Conference by the Minority Caucus in Parliament and addressed by the Minority Leader.

The E.C. in its Statement alleged that I sought to attack the integrity and mandate of the Commission as well as create an erroneous impression in the minds of the general public on the Commission’s attitude towards the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Commission further stated that it had not stated anywhere that it had received Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from Government as stated by the Minority Leader in the said Press Conference.

For the record, I did indicate at the said Press Conference that I was making reference to a statement made by Dr. Serebuor Quaicoo, Director of Electoral Services of the Electoral Commission.

Dr. Serebuor Quaicoo had indicated on Joy FM’s current affairs programme, Newsfile on Saturday, 18th April 2020 that the EC had received enough PPEs from Government. Unfortunately, Dr. Serebuor had not come out to deny the assertion.



The E.C. in its Statement alleged that they did not receive any PPEs from Government. The question that the EC must answer is how it came by the PPEs it claimed were enough for the intended compilation of a new Voters Register, which has been wildly condemned by Civil Society, and well-meaning Ghanaians.

The concern I expressed in the Press Conference was a simple advise to the E.C. not to be primarily concerned about the health and safety of only staff of the Commission but the general wellbeing of the Ghanaian populace.

The E.C. needed to be reminded that the Commission did not make any provision for the procurement of PPEs in its 2020 budget as approved by Parliament in December 2020 since no one anticipated the pandemic at the time of the approval of the budget.

The Commission should tell the Ghanaian public the source of the funds used for the procurement of its PPEs since they claim these were not provided by Government and these were also not provided for in their budget for 2020.



Questions on the integrity of the EC and its Leadership are issues of public knowledge and cannot be attributable to the Press Statement by the Minority Caucus in Parliament. For instance, the integrity of the E.C. and its Leadership was battered when it was forced to withdraw, on two separate occasions, the Constitutional Instrument for the conduct of the 2020 elections, due to elementary errors discovered by the Minority in the Instrument. (It is only the current Leadership of the Commission that would seek to use Regulations to amend an Act).

This exhibition of incompetence and lack of diligence and consequently the integrity of the E.C. in the eyes of the public is not and cannot be attributable to the press conference of the Minority.

My counsel to the E.C. is to devote their effort to repair their battered image as an independent Institution (not even subject to the control and direction of the Government) and to win public trust and confidence rather than the usual indecent haste in waiving empty words regarding its integrity.

The E.C. should note that I have over the years been very circumspect in my political commentary, having occupied respectable portfolios at the Political Party level, the Executive and the Legislative and therefore do not just comment on any matter. As I said I referenced the Director of Electoral Services, Dr. Serebuor Quaicoo and the said Director has not denied those assertions.

SGN HON. HARUNA IDDRISU

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