The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has turned down an invitation to attend an Inter-Party Advisory Committee Meeting convened by the Electoral Commission with special arrangements that allow social distancing due to the coronavirus outbreak, saying it does not see how “any meaningful meeting can be held to achieve consensus on any matter when all participants cannot sit together in the same meeting at the same time.”
The EC, in a letter to the NDC signed by its Deputy Chairman, Corporate Service, Dr Bossman Asare, invited the party and others to the meeting scheduled to take place on today, Wednesday, 25 May 2020 in which it stated that it had divided the IPAC meeting into two groups due to the President’s directive of not having social gatherings exceeding 25 persons.
The General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Kwadwo Asiedu Nketia, in a response to the EC’s letter on Tuesday, 24 March 2020, acknowledged receipt of the letter and thanked the EC for the invitation indicating that the NDC takes note of the new arrangements “for parties to be represented by just one (1) person for the IPAC meeting and the arrangements that the same meeting will be divided into two groups, because of the directives of the President on social gathering following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The party, however, noted that the NDC is “unable to see how any meaningful meeting can be held to achieve consensus on any matter when all participants cannot sit together in the same meeting at the same time. This situation is even worse when the agreed representation of each party is reduced from three (3) to one (1)”.
The NDC, instead, suggested: “The IPAC meetings must be suspended indefinitely in full compliance with the President’s directives. Or if the EC’s activities have been classified as essential services and, therefore, exempted from the directives, then a bigger venue must be arranged for IPAC meetings, where all three (3) representatives of each party will be present with the sitting arrangements adequate enough to meet the social distance requirements as prescribed by the President’s directives.”