The Electoral Commission (EC) Chair, Jean Mensa, must appear before the House to address the contentiously proposed Constitutional Instrument, according to Speaker of the House, Rt Hon Alban Bagbin
If adopted, the newly proposed instrument by the EC will make the Ghana Card the only form of identification acceptable as proof of citizenship.
The CI further stipulates that anyone wishing to register must do so at an EC district office.
Deputy Commissioner Bossman Asare, who represented the EC in Parliament on Thursday, February 23, encountered opposition from the Minority Caucus, which led to some arguments as lawmakers debated late into the night.
Haruna Iddrisu, a Tamale South MP, was one of those who opposed the laying of the new CI and argued that Ghanaians would be disenfranchised by its restrictions.
Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, the minority leader, stated that the NDC party in the House would prefer that Madam Jean Mensa attend to provide the necessary assurances to the chamber prior to the CI’s laying.
“Mr Speaker, regrettably, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission is not here,” Dr. Forson added. I am aware, Mr. Speaker, that the Deputy is present, but they are not the same as the Electoral Commission Chairperson. The head of the electoral commission has persistently shunned parliament as we speak.
We believe that the significant concerns we have been discussing in this chamber since the morning are those that we prefer to address, and we will require the electoral commissioner to be present to do so.
According to the Suame lawmaker, “two institutions were invited, and his choice and the majority’s preference is that the two institutions be represented by their heads.
The invitation was sent to the institutions, not the Chairs, as the chairperson indicated afterward.
Notwithstanding the Majority Leader’s response, the Speaker insisted that the new CI had major ramifications and that the EC Chairperson herself ought to appear before the House to provide clarifications.
“The Deputy Chairperson overseeing operations is a position of sufficient authority, but he is unable to provide the assurances that the Chairperson will. In light of the situation, I will have to postpone the house, Mr. Bagbin stated.
The EC must be represented at the highest level, and we will work together to find solutions. For the sake of this country’s prosperity, security, and peace, it is crucial.