General News of Tuesday, 25 July 2017
The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Charlotte Osei, is to appear before the leadership of Parliament today for a discussion on the agitations at the commission.
She would also appear before the Committee of the Whole (an exclusive meeting of only Members of Parliament (MPs) to answer questions on the total amount that the EC collected from media representatives for covering the 2016 Election as well as replacement for lost or misplaced voter’s identity (ID) cards and how the amounts had been applied.
The question was filed by the MP for Subin, Mr Eugene Boakye Antwi.
The Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, told journalist last Friday in Accra that because of the nature of the EC, Mrs Osei would not have to answer the questions on ID cards at the plenary. Rather, she would do that before the Committee of the Whole.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said there was another question that was filed two weeks ago in relation to the situation at the EC.
That, he said, was before the recent agitation in which some officials of the commission were said to have petitioned the President to remove Mrs Osei from office for alleged misconduct in the award of a contract.
The Majority Leader said because of the nature of the developments at the EC, the Chairperson would not be asked questions relating to the agitations at the Committee of the Whole.
He said the leadership of Parliament would meet Mrs Osei separately to see what could be done to calm down tempers.
No political influence
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu dismissed the suggestion by the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, to the effect that calls for Mrs Osei’s call was politically motivated. He said such a claim had no basis.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the whole issue at the EC had to do with “bad blood” among the commissioners and staff.
He added that he had sensed the agitations coming because of the experience he had during a meeting with deputy EC commissioners in his capacity as the Chairman of the Special Budget Committee.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said Mrs Osei was not present at the meeting with the Special Budget Committee.
He continued that when he asked of her whereabouts, the response he got was that they did not known when she travelled outside the country.
The Majority Leader said concerns of the deputy commissioners had to do with promotion because they felt they should have been given the nod to head the commission given their years of experience.
He said despite the challenges, the issue could be resolved to allow for the work of the EC to go on smoothly.