The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Adukwei Mensa is to appear before Parliament to brief the House on preparations of the Commission to conduct a free, fair, and credible election come December 7, 2020.
The invitation has become necessary as a result of the House unanimously agreeing to summon the Commission to appear before it.
Both the Majority and Minority Leaders made this known when the House resumed sitting of the second meeting of the Fourth Session of the 7th Parliament on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.
Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, who proposed the summons on the floor of the House argued that there is the need for the Commission to brief the House on its planned roadmap to organize the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Countries around the world whose elections are due in 2020 are faced with peculiar and herculean challenges presented by COVID-19; to conduct their elections freely and still ensure their citizens do not get infected with the disease which spreads easily through public gatherings.
Regardless of this challenge, countries such as Guinea and Mali in Africa as well as South Korea in Asia have successfully organized their elections while some states in the United States of America and Europe are contemplating same to fulfill their constitutional mandates.
Ghana’s government has also repeatedly maintained that with or without COVID-19, elections will be held in December as the 1992 Constitution does not provide an alternative means to get this done.
Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Haruna Iddrisu said “I requested for a meeting for us to engage with the Electoral Commissioner of Ghana, I only can renew that call that this country, COVID or no COVID, we are a democracy and our democracy will evolve. We will be expected to conduct presidential and parliamentary elections and we need to know what their road map is going forward, in respect of that.”
Majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu supported his colleague’s call by stating that Parliament must engage the Electoral Commission whether at the committee level or before plenary.
“Mr. Speaker, I agree that elections certainly must hold because as I indicated, the constitution is ambivalence in a way to proceed should there be no election and January 7, 2021, should catch us. We find ourselves in a difficult situation and it’s the reason why everything must be done to provide for the holding of the elections….the Minority leader raised some of these things that we should engage the commission, I believe that it is appropriate…” he said.
A section of the public who spoke to ABC News yesterday welcomed the invitation to the EC Boss to brief Parliament. “I think it’s a step in the right direction. It would afford the Commission to assure the public that it is in charge and is poised to deliver a free and fair election” Cynthia Amerley, a resident of Accra observed.