21 July 2016

We need more cash – Electoral Commission

ecbossThe chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei, has insisted that the commission would need GH¢1.2 billion for the 2016 general elections, although the government had approved an amount of GH¢822 million in this year’s budget for its operations.

Appearing before the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of the House to defend the timetable for the elections and also affirm the EC’s preparedness for the elections, the EC chairperson indicated that the budget for her outfit is GH¢1.2 billion and that the government had released GH¢693 million which covers the first and second quarters of this year.

Mrs. Osei told the committee that the EC’s calendar for the polls had been revised in the light of the Supreme Court order on the NHIS card registrants.

She also indicated that the delay in the limited registration exercise affected the period for the exhibition of the voters’ register, stressing that it became necessary to therefore make some adjustments to the original election calendar prepared on the basis of holding the polls in November.

She noted that the revised calendar had been accepted by all political parties. The EC chairperson explained that though the original timetable had been altered, the commission had put in place measures to hold the general elections on November 7.

On the constitutional amendment bill, Mrs. Osei told the committee that the EC had already prepared two draft Constitutional Instruments (CIs) for both November 7 and December 7 and would present the appropriate CI to parliament, depending on the final decision of the House on the bill.

Some members of the committee had expressed serious concerns about government’s preparedness to release all the money in time to cover EC’s budget for a successful conduct of the elections

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