EC Wants GH¢41m For Election 08
EC Wants GH¢41m For Election 08 Website
The Electoral Commission (EC) has budgeted for GH¢41 million for this year's general election, excluding the possibility of a run-off. "The Chairman of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, who announced this, said an additional GH¢7 million would be required should there be a run-off. He was responding to questions at a special regional Inter-Party Advisory Committee (lPAC) forum in Takoradi. He said the ballot papers were being re-designed based on some findings of the commission which showed that many ballot papers got rejected as a result of ignorance on the part of voters. He advised people not to play politics with the said bloated voters register in 13 constituencies in the Ashanti Region, pointing out that “it is the collective responsibility of all of us to ensure that the voters register is clean". Dr Mari-Gyan stressed that the commission would faithfully declare the results of the elections if any party other than the ruling party won the elections. "I cannot imagine a situation where the commission will not declare the results," he said, adding, "It will be a dereliction of duty." "We will faithfully declare the results according to how Ghanaians see it," he noted, stressing, "It is our right to declare the results and the media should help us to uphold the law." Dr Mari-Gyan, therefore, emphasised that it would be stupid for anybody else to declare the results, adding that that would bring about chaos. Touching on the Representation of the People (Amendment) Law (ROPAL), the chairman said the EC had done a lot of work on it. "We cannot use it in the 2008 elections since we have not done enough," he added. He said it was the obligation of the EC to implement the law gradually, saying, "When we reach the right stage we will implement the law." In another development, the EC has explained that the postponement of the re-opening of the voters register is the result of a delay in the delivery of a new work station and not because of lack of funds, reports Donald Ato Dapatem. According to the Director of Elections at the EC, Dr Albert Kofi Arhin, the new work station, which would replace the Polaroid instant camera for the registration of voters, was expected in the country in June this year. The work station is a new digital equipment comprising a camera, a printer and a set of batteries which will enable the EC to instantly deliver identity cards to voters who register and also facilitate the processing of data. Last Monday, the commission issued a statement that it had postponed the May 8 to 17 reopening of the voters registration exercise indefinitely. Mr Arhin noted that the EC had had assurances from the providers of the equipment that it would be in by June. He explained that although the EC had held up the registration of new voters, that would not affect its electoral calendar for the year, especially the filing of presidential nominations in September and the general election in December. He added that the EC had no problem as far as resources for the registration were concerned and gave the assurance that it would work within the calendar to ensure smooth elections. Mr Arhin urged political parties and Ghanaians in general to see it as their civic duty to encourage those who had attained 18 to register and ensure that they expose those who had already registered and still wanted to register again and those who had not attained the adult suffrage age but wanted to register. He said the EC as usual, would put in place appropriate measures, including adequate training of personnel, to man all the registration centres.