EC demands GH¢90m to conduct fresh district elections
The Electoral Commission (EC) is asking government to provide an additional GH¢90 million to reorganize the District Level Elections, after spending GH¢317 million on the failed March 3, 2015 elections.
A usually reliable source told the Ghana News Agency that the Electoral Commissioner, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, made the request in a closed door meeting with members of Parliament on Tuesday in Accra.
The EC Commissioner was in Parliament to brief the House on the circumstances that led to the cancellation of the elections by the Supreme Court and the way forward.
The source said that Dr Afari-Gyan told the House that out of the GH¢327 million the EC demanded for the bungled elections, GH¢317 was released by the Ministry of Finance, leaving a balance of GH¢10 million, which the EC still needed for its operations
He told the lawmakers that the GH¢90 million it was requesting could appreciate if more contestants decided to take part in the elections, which could likely be held in the third quarter of 2015, if the EC lays a new Constitutional Instrument (C.I) before Parliament.
A new C.I, when laid before the Parliament, takes 21 days to mature. But the EC went ahead to organize the processes leading to the actual elections without recourse to the full maturity of C.I. 85, necessitating the Supreme Court to order it (EC) to truncate the process and reorganize the election, after one Benjamin Eyi Mensah, a fisherman sued the Commission.
The Source said when the lawmakers quizzed the EC Chairman, who was accompanied by his two deputies, on why he did not observe the legalities governing the conduct of the district elections and allowed funds to be wasted on the abortive elections, Dr Afari-Gyan said he was misled into believing that he could open and close nominations before the C. I. 85, which was supposed to regulate the conduct of the elections matured.
Dr Afari-Gyan accordingly apologized to Ghanaians for the cancellation of the elections but refused to name those whose advice led to the cancellation of the elections.
Consequently, the House agreed that a special committee made up of members from the Parliament Committees of Subsidiary Legislation, Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs; Special Budget as well as officials from the Attorney-General’s Department and the EC should meet to brainstorm on the way forward.
The Source said the committee has also been charged to come out with strategies to deal with the vacuum that would be created in the district assemblies as a result of the expiration of the term of the current district assembly members.