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27 July 2017

Charging media for cards not bad practice – EC boss

Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Charlotte Osei, has said that the number of media houses, both local and international that turned up to cover the 7 December 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections showed that the decision to charge practitioners for accreditation was not a bad practice.

Media houses were asked by the EC to pay an amount of GHS10 for accreditation to enable them have access to polling stations.

The EC in a statement ahead of the polls said: “Accreditation tags will be given to only those who have formally applied for it and for a fee to be determined by the Commission.”

This, many thought was unconventional because funds were earmarked by the Government of Ghana to the elections management body to conduct the elections.

Rendering an account to parliament on Wednesday 26 July 2017 about how the money collected from journalists was used, Mrs Osei said the practice was not novel and that it was introduced in other elections in Ghana, especially in the district assembly elections, adding that the turnout of the journalists indicated that the decision was apt.

She said: “This is not the first time the Commission has charged journalists for accreditation. This had happened in the District Assembly elections and so it wasn’t the first time.

“Judging by the numbers; that’s 4,271 and the way that the media covered the elections very effectively, we don’t think it is a bad practice.”

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