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14.05.2020 Parliament

Minority Leader 'Shocked' At EC Denial Of Gov't PPEs

By Christian Kpesese
Minority Leader 'Shocked' At EC Denial Of Gov't PPEs
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The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu has expressed shock and disappointment at the Electoral Commission (EC) for the latter's denial of a claim he made during a press conference last week Thursday.

Speaking at a press conference organised by the Minority caucus last Thursday, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu stated that government-supplied Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to officials of the EC whiles frontline workers are crying for same.

The EC however in a press statement signed by its Acting Director of Public Affairs in response to the Minority Leader's claim categorically stated that the Commission has not received any such PPEs from Government.

According to the EC, the Minority Leader by that claim 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.

In a counter press release issued on Wednesday, the Minority Leader said he only reference the ECs disclosure as stated by its Director of ElectoralServices, Dr. Serebuor Quaicoo on Joy FM's Newsfile programme on Saturday 18th April 2020.

"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 noted.

Mr. Haruna noted the EC did not budget to procure PPEs and has therefore challenged it to as a matter of urgency tell Ghanaians the source of its funding for the PPEs it stated is enough for the compilation of new voters register since it claimed it had not received any such from Government.

He counsels the EC to devote time in repairing its battered image before the Ghanaian public as an independent institution rather than attacking his integrity.

The Tamale South Member of Parliament said he has been very circumspect over the years in his "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".

Find below the full statement

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 simple advice 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 the 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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