District Level Elections To Delay – Afari-Gyan

Afari-GyanThis year’s district level elections would be delayed by a month, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), has announced.

He said the elections, originally scheduled for October, would now be extended by a month due to the delay in the release of funds.

Dr Afari-Gyan told the Public Account Committee (PAC) sitting in Accra yesterday that the EC should have started preparations in January but it had to start in March due to budgetary constraints

”Mr Chairman, we presented our   tentative programme to Parliament on how we want to proceed on the elections.  The programme has to delay by a month due to the delay in the release of funds,” he stated.

Dr Afari-Gyan explained that the operations of the EC were such that a disruption of any of its programme affects its operations.

”A delay in registration will definitely affect the other programmes because election is a process and not an event,” he stressed.

When the Chairman of PAC, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu asked whether this year’s election was going to be done in a piecemeal basis as was done in 2010, Dr Afari-Gyan responded in the negative, but said that would be dependent on the early release of funds.

The Committee expressed concern about the delay in submitting the Commission’s   annual account for auditing, and raised queries about purchases made by the Brong Ahafo Region Office of the EC without proper documentation.

The PAC gave the Commission one week to furnish it with the 2010 accounts of the Brong Ahafo Office.

Responding to the queries, Dr Afari-Gyan assured the Committee that measures had been instituted to address the anomalies.

Other agencies which appeared before the PAC yesterday were the State Housing Company (SHC) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).

The Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr Sampson Ahi, whose outfit had oversight responsibility of the SHC, said he would ensure that the directive of the PAC were complied with.

Regarding the NCCE, the members said the presence of the Commission was not felt at the grassroots level.

The Chairperson of the NCCE, Mrs Charlotte Osei, said the NCCE could not embark on a lot of public education due to budgetary constraints, because it depended on donor funding to carry out most of its programmes. By Kingsley Asare

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