June 16, 2014

The Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, has been summoned to appear before Parliament to brief the House on initiatives being undertaken by the commission to deepen public confidence in Ghana’s electoral process.

He is expected to meet Members of Parliament (MPs) on Wednesday.

Although the Majority Leader, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, who announced the meeting with the EC Chairman on Friday, did not provide further details, the meeting is expected to focus on the EC’s intention to open the voters register for those who have attained the age of 18 to register.

The announcement by the EC to open the register has generated much debate.

Some political parties have argued that the voters register has not been cleaned since the 2012 elections and so adding more names would bloat it.

In their view, the EC must first rid the register of ghost names and the names of deceased people.

Other issues relating to the electoral process are expected to come up for discussion at the meeting between Parliament and Dr Afari-Gyan.

Other events in Parliament in the course of the week

On Tuesday, the Minister of Transport, Ms Dzifa Ativor, is expected to appear before the House to state when the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) Company will extend its services to Adaklu Waya, the capital of the Adaklu District in the Volta Region.

The MP for Atwima Nwabiagya North, Mr Benito Owusu Bio, will also seek to know from the Minister of Defence when the ICumasi Military Hospital project will commence.

The following papers will be presented: Convention on early notification of nuclear accident; Convention on assistance in case of nuclear accident or radiological emergency; and Convention on supplementary compensation for nuclear damage.

The report on the joint committee on Finance and Roads and Transport on the commercial agreement among the government of Ghana, Lonrho Ports Ghana Ltd and Atuabo Freeport Ghana in respect of the Ghana Oil and Gas Freeport project will also be presented.

The Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund Bill, 2014 and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority Bill, 2013 are expected to be presented and read for the first time.

On Wednesday, the Minister of the Interior, Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, is expected to appear before the House to answer questions pertaining to the provision of fire engines for some districts.

Bonded warehouses

The Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Tekper, is also expected to tell the House which type of imports or companies are allowed to use the bonded warehouse facilities and the impact of the operation of bonded warehouses on the economy.

He is also expected to state what steps are being taken to ensure the sustainability of the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy, as well as brief members on how much has so far been realised from the President and his ministers’ voluntary 10 per cent pay cut.

The semi-annual report of Bank of Ghana on the Petroleum Holding Funds and the Ghana Petroleum Funds for July 1 to December 31,2013; the Petroleum Commission’s Annual Public Report on Petroleum Resources and Activities for 2012; and the Performance Audit Report on phase one of the Land Administration Project, among many other papers, are expected to be laid.

On Thursday, during question time, the Minister of Food and Agriculture is expected to tell the House whether the government has any pricing policy with respect to cashew production in the country.

On Friday, the controversial Plant Breeders Bill will be taken through a third reading.

The Excise Duty Bill will also be read a third time.

The Minister of Roads and Highways will also be in the House to answer questions filed by MPs.