The National Patriotic Party’s (NPP) parliamentary primaries which have been slated for this weekend has left the house of parliament rather “deserted”. Following the elections, incumbent MP’s are out in their constituencies campaigning to retain their seats in parliament.
The Majority Leader in parliament, Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu explained how this phenomenon will affect proceedings in the House. He said,
“Admittedly, business is going to be affected because the government benches, the members of parliament have to go and face elections, so I must be honest with this that business is certainly going to be affected.
Particularly for MP’s who have to campaign in their constituency outside Accra, they would have to make the trip and contest as mandated by the Party’s constitution. He said, “The constitution provides for elections to be held to usher in a new parliament”.
He however stated that despite the mandatory underpinnings in the constitution which must be conformed to by all and sundry, “I’ve repeatedly said this and we need to look at this and certainly it’s not the best because this system does not obtain in the entrenched democracies, but having said that, that is what the constitution provides, at least for now and we must conform”.
“When the NDC were heading towards their own internal primaries, their side of the House was empty and I remember sometimes especially in the last three to four days to the conduct of the elections there weren’t more than five members from the other side on those benches of the minority”, he added.
State loses $28 million for failure to servicing EC’s data
The Majority Leader in Parliament has said the Electoral Commission (EC) paid $28 million over seven years to have its data system serviced.
In an interaction with the media on Wednesday, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu said the servicing wasn’t done. He said when the country switched to use the biometric system in 2012 under the Kwadwo Afari-Gyan-led EC, the election monitoring body signed an agreement with the handlers of the data to have the system serviced every year, which cost the taxpayer $4 million a year.
According to the Majority Leader,
“Those seven years, the nation had to pay $28 million to the body that was charged with servicing. It turns out that no servicing had been done all these years and yet up to 2018, the nation had to pay $28 million”.
The Majority Leader speaking on the alleged loss to the state, entreated the current EC leadership to cause a forensic audit into the $28 million loss.
“As a country whether we had value for money, the system can call for a forensic audit but it is for the Electoral Commission to do that and not me,” he said.
Meanwhile, in an interview on Tuesday, the deputy commissioner in charge of corporate services of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Eric Bossman Asare said the biometric voter’s registration machines they have acquired so far totaling over 8,000 will be on display at the Ridge church on Thursday for the public to have a look at the machines which will be used.