The Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana is spending over GH₵397 million on the upcoming District Assembly and Unit Committee elections due to judicial procedures that has not only delayed the process but has increased the financial burden for the nation.
Mr. Amadu Sulley, EC’s Deputy Chairman of Operations said the EC budgeted about GH₵317 million earlier for the District Assembly elections but was aborted due to the Supreme Court ruling stopping the process, stressing that, an additional cost had been incurred resulting in the increase in expenditure.
Mr. Sulley disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale at the weekend, at the sidelines of a sensitization workshop, aimed at educating the electorates and civil society groups, as well as the media on the upcoming District Assembly elections scheduled for September 1, 2015.
The workshop was sponsored by the European Union and is aimed at improving the knowledge of participants on the electoral processes to effectively contribute to safeguarding the voting turnout.
Mr Sulley said the EC was not aware of the maturity period of the Constitutional Instrument (CI) 89, explaining that there was a miscommunication between the Parliament of Ghana and the EC hence the mistake that caused the nullification of the process by the Supreme Court.
He said the nullification of the elections and its re-scheduling had cost the nation more money, and indicated that, out of the total money demanded, GH₵45 million had been released so far, stressing that, the remaining amounts would be released in two installments before the elections takes off to ensure the smooth running of the process.
He said most of the items needed for the elections had been procured, and that, some of the items, which were supposed to have been used for the earlier cancelled elections still remain relevant, thus beating down the cost to the current expenditure for the upcoming Assembly Elections.
He explained that mounting of platforms would be done for the candidates from August 20 to enable them to canvass for votes whilst posters would be made available for corrections of names and other essential information about the candidates.
Mr Muhammed Adoquaye, EC’s Director of Human Resource and General Services urged all participants, including voters, to abide by the electoral process as they take their turn to exercise their voting rights and also during campaigning.
He said voter turnout has been a very important ingredient for election’s credibility and urged the electorates to turn out in their numbers during the upcoming District Assembly elections.