General News of Tuesday, 10 March 2015
The Electoral Commission of Ghana expended a whopping Ghc310 million in the lead-up to the District level elections that was annulled by a Supreme Court ruling at the last hour.
This was revealed by Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur on Tuesday March 10, when he gave the keynote address to open the 4th Regional Minister’s Conference underway at Elmina in the Central Region.
This means Government would have to make extra funds available for the EC to restart the process.
TV3’s Komla Klutse reports that the Vice President also urged appropriate state institutions to extend the mandate of the current assembly members in order to avert a management gap at the assemblies.
Mr. Amissah-Arthur was admonishing regional ministers to use the country’s scanty resources judiciously when he made mention of the EC’s expenditure which is clearly a waste of national resources.
He noted that with the IMF’s bailout in the pipeline, Government was going to ensure effective and prudent use of statutory funds in order to cut down wastage.
The Vice President did not give further details of how the EC expended the amount, thus leaving questions as to how Ghc310 million was exhausted on an election that was cancelled on February 26, before March 3, which was the scheduled date for the poll.
Many had criticized the EC for such public wastage in a court suit that it could have clearly avoided if it had been prudent enough.
It remains unclear when the next date would be announced for the elections as the Commission was yet to put before Parliament a new legislation for approval to restart the process.
Meanwhile the Chairman of the Electoral Commission Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan and officials of the Local Government and Rural Development Ministry, are to brief Parliament on Tuesday March 10, about the circumstances that led to the cancellation of the elections and the way forward.
Concerns have been raised about the fact that the tenure of current assembly members will expire on Sunday March 15, 2015. This means assemblies cannot function without newly elected members.
The laying of a new legislation before Parliament by the EC will further delay the election since it will take at least 21 days to mature.