We’re Not Brushing Off Jega- Ghana’s E.C Charlotte Osei

The Electoral Commission of Ghana has denied allegations that it is turning down an invitation to meet with the former chair of the Nigerian Independent Electoral Commission Prof. Attahiru Jega.

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) is organising a public forum to be addressed by Jega, but reports making rounds are that the electoral body is refusing to honour the event.

The Charlotte Osei-led organisation has confirmed receiving the invitation for the public lecture, but has served notice the EC chairperson will be outside Ghana on an official assignment during the event. “A few weeks ago, the EC did receive an invitation to attend a public lecture organised by the IEA with Prof. Jega as speaker, and another invitation to meet with Prof. Jega on 15 December, 2015 at 11.30am. Officials of the EC responded to the IEA that the Chair of the EC would be unable to honour the invitation for two reasons:

Nigerian Independent Electoral Commission Prof. Attahiru Jega.

1. A parliamentary by-election in Amenfi West slated for December 15; 2. The Chair in her capacity as President of the Association of African Electoral Authorities was scheduled to be in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia the same week for meetings.

It is also important to point out that while the EC in the course of its work, collaborates with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) like the IEA, the EC would be unable to honour all invitations received from CSOs based on the work priorities of the EC and as dictated by supervening national interest,” the EC said in a statement.

Below is the full statement

ELECTORAL COMMISSION’S RESPONSE TO IEA’S COMPLAINTS ABOUT EC’S INABILITY TO MEET WITH PROF. ATTAHIRU JEGA The attention of the Electoral Commission (EC) has been drawn to complaints made by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in the media, on the inability of the EC to meet with Prof. Attahiru Jega, the former Chair of the Nigerian Independent Electoral Commission.

Out of respect for Prof. Jega and the general public, the EC is constrained to issue this statement and have the opportunity to state the facts and correct any wrong impressions created. A few weeks ago, the EC did receive an invitation to attend a public lecture organised by the IEA with Prof. Jega as speaker, and another invitation to meet with Prof. Jega on 15 December, 2015 at 11.30am.

Officials of the EC responded to the IEA that the Chair of the EC would be unable to honour the invitation for two reasons: 1. A parliamentary by-election in Amenfi West slated for December 15; 2. The Chair in her capacity as President of the Association of African Electoral Authorities was scheduled to be in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia the same week for meetings.

It is also important to point out that while the EC in the course of its work, collaborates with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) like the IEA, the EC would be unable to honour all invitations received from CSOs based on the work priorities of the EC and as dictated by supervening national interest.

We would like to assure the IEA that contrary to their concerns that the EC has refused an opportunity to engage with Prof. Jega, the EC of Ghana is in direct contact with Prof. Jega and all other past and current heads of Electoral Management Bodies in Africa.

Indeed, the EC has upcoming planned engagements with Prof. Jega which have been finalised already and organized by His Excellency Mr. Kofi Annan.

We trust that the foregoing clarifies our position and we take the opportunity to assure all civil society organisations that the EC considers them as valued partners in the delivery of democratic growth and stability to Ghana; and we will continue to work with them within the constraints of time and work commitments.

SIGNED– CHRISTIAN OWUSU-PARRY AG. DIRECTOR, PUBLIC AFFAIRS

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