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13 July 2016

Gov’t releases ₵600m to EC for elections

George LohVice Chairman of Parliament’s Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee, George Loh, says the Electoral Commission (EC) will not be faced with financial challenges ahead of the November polls.

He explained there is nothing to worry about despite claims by some opposition parties that the EC might not be ready for the elections because it is yet to receive the remaining budgetary allocation from the government.

“Haruna Iddrisu who is a member of the Economic Management Team has given us statistics that over GHC600 million has already been advanced to the EC and with the balance that is left it will be given on case by case basis,” he told Joynews’ Elton Brobbey on the sideline of the Committee’s Public Forum held on Monday.

A Parliamentary Consultative Forum held to build consensus for the constitutional amendment brought to fore misgivings of political parties over the behavior and preparation of the Commission.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) questioned the capacity of the EC to generate a credible register ahead of the polls.

It said the Commission might not be prepared for the proposed date since the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) is still holding onto portions of its budget.

Commenting on presentations made by political parties, ranking member of the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee, Joe Osei Owusu, told Joynews apart from the NPP, no other political party raised any major issue about the EC’s preparation.

“Their only worry is that from all the steps taken by the EC to-date, they are not convinced that if we pass a law empowering the EC to go about it now, the EC itself will be ready without compromising the integrity of the election,” he said.

But Mr Loh disclosed the credibility of the general election is the responsibility of all stakeholders.

Nonetheless, he said the Committee will meet the Commission to investigate the claims made by the political parties regarding its preparation and credibility of the November polls.

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