Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan
All things being equal, the chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan and his lieutenants will be in Parliament today to brief Members of Parliament (MPs) on initiatives being taken by the Commission to deepen public confidence in Ghana’s electoral process.
Some Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament, including a Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah and the ranking member of the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development, Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, had expressed concern about the apparent lack of preparedness on the part of the Electoral Commission to conduct successful district level elections during the first meeting of the second session.
They therefore requested the leadership of Parliament to invite the chairman of the EC to brief MPs about preparations being made to conduct smooth district level elections expected to take place in October to forestall numerous problems recorded four years ago.
Parliament therefore invited the chairman of the EC during the last meeting but nothing was heard about it.
Majority of Members of Parliament have again raised similar concerns and want the chairman of the EC to brief them on initiative being taken by EC, as it prepares to conduct district level elections this year and the general elections in December, 2016.
The Supreme Court of Ghana, after the determination of the presidential election petition, also directed the EC to put necessary measures in place to conduct credible elections in the future.
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE in Parliament yesterday, the NPP MP for Asuogyaman, Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, however, described the intended briefing by chairman of the EC as mere window-dressing.
‘If the EC really wants to deepen public confidence in the electoral process, then it will have to adopt the data registration system, which will definitely ensure transparency, equity and accountability in the electoral process,’ he said, stressing that the EC must rid the voters register of ‘ghost names’ to give some credibility to it.
He said the current identification tools for registration like the National Health Insurance card and driving licence will give room for non-Ghanaians to register and vote in every election, which he said would be catastrophic.
He said that the EC must have a voter register of members of all political parties so that it could be audited.
He also suggested to the EC to organise regional forums in the regional capitals to solicit views from members of the public, who woke up early in the morning to form long queues to cast their ballot, on the same issue of deepening public confidence in the electoral process.
The NPP MP for Nsawam/Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh told the DAILY GUIDE that many MPs would be very interested in the proposed limited registration, which the EC intends to undertake.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho yesterday officially presented a list of newly-nominated ministers and deputy minister to be vetted and approved by parliament.
The include Nii Osaa Mills, minister-designate for Ministry of Natural Resources, Lands and Forestry; Antwi Boasiako Sekyere, minister-designate for the Eastern region; Acquinas Tawiah Quansah, minister-designate for the Central region; James Zugah, minister-designate for the Upper East region; Alex Segbefia, deputy minister-designate for Defence; Dr Victor Asare Bampoe, deputy minister-designate for Health and Della Sowah, deputy minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr
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