Publish cost of voters’ register forum, general elections – Group tells EC

Charlotte-Osei--620x330A group calling itself the Coalition for Free, Fair and Transparent Elections (COFFTRE) is calling on the Electoral Commission to disclose within three weeks, its budget and audited reports on the 1992 to 2012 general and parliamentary elections.

The group in a statement also tasked the EC to reveal the total cost and break down of the recently held forum for political parties and civil society groups on the voters’ register at Alisa Hotel in Accra.“People are generally curious as to how much it cost the Electoral Commission to organise the political parties and civil society organisations at the recently held forum at the Alisa Hotel on the 29th and 30th October, 2015, to debate whether or not to change the voters’ register for the 2016 general elections.

“The inordinately high number of tea and other breaks leads to the suspicion that the EC had a high amount of money to spend, and Ghanaians would like to know exactly how much,” the group argued.

It further asked the EC to publish proposed cost for the conduct of the upcoming elections as well as the cost for a possible run-off.

Below is the full statement issued by the group

 

PRESS STATEMENT BY COALITION FOR FREE, FAIR AND TRANSPARENT ELECTIONS (COFFTRE)

COFFTRE GIVES ELECTORAL COMMSSION 21-DAY ULTIMATUM

  1. The Coalition for Free, Fair and Transparent Elections is calling on the Electoral Commission to, as a matter urgency, disclose to Ghanaians, within three weeks, its budget and audited reports, for the conduct of the general and parliamentary elections it conducted in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012.
  2. Additionally, we demand from the EC, the total cost and breakdown of the recently held forum for political parties and civil society groups on the voters’ register at Alisa Hotel.
  3. Thirdly we demand from the EC to publish its proposed costs for the conduct of election 2016, presidential and primary, as well as the cost for a possible run-off.
  4. We have many reasons for giving the three weeks ultimatum.
  5. First, people are generally curious as to how much it cost the Electoral Commission to organise the political parties and civil society organisations at the recently held forum at the Alisa Hotel on the 29th and 30th October, 2015, to debate whether or not to change the voters’ register for the 2016 general elections. The inordinately high number of tea and other breaks leads to the suspicion that the EC had a high amount of money to spend, and Ghanaians would like to know exactly how much.
  6. Secondly we have also heard from the highest sources that the EC has proposed to spend an amount of 1.7 Billion cedis (1.7 trillion old cedis) for the conduct of election 2016. This means that every voting Ghanaian is being asked to pay an amount of GHC121.43 just to exercise his right to vote. That is about $30 a person just to vote! For the conduct of a possible run-off, the EC has proposed 2.3 Billion cedis (2.3 trillion old cedis). It cannot be said that these amounts of money are quiet astronomical, comparing to other countries. The international average for the right to vote is about $7 dollars, and the EC has some serious explanations to do as to why the Ghanaian should pay over $30.00! To allay our fears of possible abuse, the EC must give Ghanaians the breakdown for the conduct of election 2016.
  7. We have also heard from the highest sources that the EC has been given, over the years, large sums of money every year to inspect and review the registration and offices of political parties in the country. Given the representation at the Alisa Hotel forum, it is clear that the EC has not conducted the inspection, because, there are many smaller political parties in the country that were invited to the forum but do not have even one office in the country. Not even one office. It is clear that the EC has not been conducting these inspections, otherwise it would not have recognized these entities as political parties. If the EC misused and misapplied monies in times past with the excuse that it was going on inspection, the clear possibility is that it is/has also misapplied other funds in the past.
  8. That is why we are asking the EC to provide for the people of Ghana it budgets for the conduct of Elections 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012, as well as how much it proposes to spend on election 2016.
  9. By this press release and public statement, we are giving the Electoral Commission 21 clear days to provide the public with the information demanded above.
  10. It is about time the EC is held responsible in this country. After presenting a huge budget to the Parliament of Ghana, no institution whatsoever is interested in how the EC spends tax payers’ money to conduct its activities in the country.  We shall not relent on demanding accountability from the EC.  However, failure by the EC to yield to the 21-day ultimatum, we shall use all legitimate political forces and pressures to ensure that our demands are acceded to.
  11. Meanwhile, we are still calling on Ex-military officers, ex- polices officers, ex-prison officers, ex-immigration and other civil servants, lecturers, teachers and everybody interested in an accountable and responsible Electoral Commission to join our membership.
  12. The ultimate reason is to provide a free, fair and credible election in 2016.
  13. God bless you all.

Signed:

Kenneth Agyei Kuranchie –National President (0544397309)

Kwabena Paintsil – National Secretary (0207347137)

Mohammed Mumuni- National Organizer (0244144108)

Michael Kwaku Ohene- Deputy Secretary (0261676225)

source: citifmonline.com

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