The Minority in Ghana’s Parliament staged a walkout Saturday during a special sitting to approve the 2020 budget estimates of the Electoral Commission of Ghana.
The minority’s action follows a demand it made on the EC on Friday to furnish Parliament with documents that justify its request for over GH¢1b for the purposes of compiling a new voters’ register for the 2020 elections.
When the EC appeared before Parliament Saturday, at a special sitting called for the purpose of allowing it to meet the minority’s demand and to pave the way for the approval of its budget before parliament rises for the Christmas break, the National Democratic Congress Members of Parliament alleged that the commission had not complied satisfactorily with its request.
According to the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, the EC has not convinced the NDC side of the House on why a new voter register must be compiled.
“We on this side cannot appreciate why the government would have to spend nearly GH¢1b to produce a new register and set aside a register that gave birth to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and all the Members of Parliament.
“Mr Speaker I owe you some level of respect but I am compelled to move out with the minority in protest. We will not support a new voter register,” Iddrisu said as he led the minority to boycott the rest of the deliberations on the EC’s budget.
This, however, was not enough to stop the ongoing debate of the budget of the EC.
Meanwhile, the EC has been justifying the need for a new voter register.
Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, Mr Samuel Tettey, at a press briefing reiterated the need for one when he said “The current register is credible but it has been stretched to a point where you don’t want to take that same risk. We want to have something that is more credible.”
“If you remember, during the exhibition some of you heard that some people were not captured because of the equipment we are using…” he added.