Cutting down EC’s budget could affect polls – Analyst

General News of Thursday, 24 December 2015


Charlotte Osei EC Chair TabCharlotte Osei, Chairperson for the Electoral Commission

Governance Analyst, Professor Baffour Agyemang Duah, is warning of dire consequences for Ghana’s 2016 general elections, following the Electoral Commission’s (EC) decision to slash its budget.

Parliament recently approved the EC’s budget but had to cut down the original budget presented by the commission from 1.6 billion to GHC826.8 million.

Speaking on Accra based Uniq FM, Professor Agyemang Duah, said the decision is likely to have a negative impact on the EC’s ability to ensure a successful election.

“…The EC had requested for about 1.6 billion cedis for the upcoming election and out of that amount, I understand not more than 800 million has been granted. Certainly the EC has its own plans and programmes and budgeted accordingly; but this severe cut is going to impact on the ability of the EC to undertake the activities it has to undertake to ensure a successful and peaceful election.”

Despite advocating for an increment in the budget, Prof. Duah also tasked the EC to be accountable to Ghanaians.

“Having said that, I am certainly at times not too happy with the way the EC accounts for its elections. I don’t recall any time in our recent history where the EC has accounted for the millions of cedis the nation has given it to perform its role. I think the EC should not be independent.

“It should also be accountable to the people. We need to know what is in the budget and what has been proposed and I think all of us can make from a rational determination as to whether the 1.6 billion was excessive or not.”

International donors have described the EC’s budget as too huge.