IMANI Ghana has joined calls for the Electoral Commission (EC) to fully disclose its budget details for the conduct of the 2016 elections to Ghanaians.
A statement signed by the Think Tank’s Executive Director, Franklin Cudjoe said the EC’s disclosure will promote transparency.
The EC has indicated that the 2016 general elections will cost Ghana about 1.2 billion cedis but Franklin Cudjoe described the amount as an outrageous figure.
According to him, “there is a good reason to doubt this figure seeing that the same Commission proposed a budget of $ 300 m ( 200 m pounds) for conducting the 2016 elections with less justifiable reasons.”
“Apparently government says it can only fund $ 250 m possibly with some donor help but still leaving the remaining $ 50 m that it expects other donors to fill. And that is a huge decision for the donors to make,” he added.
Franklin Cudjoe therefore tasked the EC to be open about what the budget for the upcoming polls entails.
He also asked the Finance Ministry to explain why “it will even be interested in funding the budget.”
Below is the full statement from IMANI
My attention has been drawn to a TV 3 news report which attributes the header “New voters’ register will cost Ghana 900 million dollars – EC” to you.
The report mentioned that you revealed this figure to a bewildered Parliament, at least the Minority side that wanted further detail about the budget.
I am very sure every Ghanaian including me, will like to know how you arrived at what looks like an outrageous figure of $900m were the Commission to compile a new voter register.
There is good reason to doubt this figure seeing that the same Commission proposed a budget of $300m (£200m) for conducting the 2016 elections with less justifiable reasons. Apparently government says it can only fund $250m possibly with some donor help, but still leaving the remaining $50m that it expects other donors to fill. And that is a huge decision for the donors to make.
The UK elections conducted seven months ago cost about £70m with nearly four times eligible voters on the voter register than Ghana’s. It is even shocking to know that Africa’s most populous nation Nigeria, conducted the most successful elections on the continent with a per capita cost (for each voter) at $12.5!
Ghana on the other hand seems to be proposing to spend $21.4 per voter WITHOUT TECHNICAL AUDIT OF THE REGISTER WHICH HAS A DISPUTABLE 14 MILLION VOTER POPULATION!
In order to not to come across as shockingly weird and depressingly opaque as some recent independent audits of the Commission have suggested, it will be in the interest of transparency for the Commission to fully disclose the EC’s budgets to the public. Perhaps the Ministry of Finance must also be interested in helping us understand why it will even consider this budget in the first place.
I know you are still settling in one of the most difficult jobs to have in this country. However, seeing that our neighbour, Nigeria is now the toast of the world when it comes to conducting minimally flawless and cost-effective elections on the continent, I want us to do better than Nigeria as before.
Thank you for your kind attention,
Founding President, IMANI
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana