Jean Mensa, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), has explained to Parliament that it was not possible for her to appear before the Committee of the Whole Meeting of the House on Thursday, February 23.
She informed the House that, as of the time of the meeting, she was in Nigeria for a Peer Exchange and Election Observer Mission.
“Mr Speaker, as you may be aware, I was out of the jurisdiction at the invitation of ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) in Nigeria when your invitation to the Commission was received.
“Indeed, your letter received on Wednesday, 22nd February, requested for a meeting the following day, Thursday, 23rd February 2023. In fact, had I been aware of the meeting, I would have rescheduled the mission,” Mr. Mensa stated during her presentation to Parliament’s Committee of the Whole.
The Chairperson was at the Committee’s sitting to brief the House on the Draft Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2023.
“In this vein, I would like to use this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to correct the erroneous impression that I have failed to honour the invitation of Parliament.”
Jean Mensa said for the record that this was the second time the Electoral Commission had been invited to a meeting of the Committee of the Whole.
“The first was immediately preceding the 2020 elections and I led my team and presented a report on our readiness for the election,” she said.
“This meeting is the second time we have received an invitation to address the full House, and I am here in my capacity as God’s servant and Chairperson to lead my team and to present our justifications for the draft C.l., which is the subject matter of our deliberations today.”
Touching on the CI that was before Parliament, she said the CI was seeking to promote the continuous registration of voters and advocate an all-year-round registration of eligible voters at the district offices of the EC.
This was a significant departure from the previous system, in which voter registration was only available for a limited time, she explained.