EC wants additional GH¢ 90 million for fresh Elections in July

Dr.Afari-GyanThe Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, is requesting for an amount of GH¢90 million to organize the District Assemblies Election.

The E.C was given GH¢317 million to organize the election on March 3 but the commission was, on February 27, directed by the Supreme Court to cancel all preparations towards and election and start everything afresh.

When Dr. Afari-Gyan appeared before Parliament’s Committee of the Whole in a closed-door meeting yesterday, he said before the District Assemblies Election could be organized again, the Commission would need GH90 million in addition to the GH¢317 million.

According to a sources close to the meeting, the E.C boss said his outfit requested for an amount of GH327 million but had so far been given GH¢317.

The source said Dr. Afari-Gyan told the law makers that the E.C would need the balance of GH10 million from the Ministry of Finance and the additional GH¢90 million, before it could start the whole process afresh.

“He was, however, not able to tell exactly how much has been spent so far,” one of the sources said and added that Dr. Afari-Gyan proposed to hold the elections in July this year.

The source said some members raised concerns that the commission might need more than GH¢ 90 million because many candidates might apply this time.

The sources said the Speaker, Edward Adjaho, referred the matter to the leadership of the House, the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation, Local Government Committee and the Attorney General to meet and advise the House later on the way forward.

The sources said the committees would begin the series of meetings today and advise their House on a later date.

The Supreme Court, on Friday February 27, prevented the E.C from proceeding with the elections when a fisherman, Benjamin Eyi Mensah, took the E.C to court after the Commission refused to accept his nomination forms to contest in the election.

The court directed the E.C to start anew, the processes for the opening and picking of nomination forms and urged the commission to accept the nomination forms from candidates who had earlier been rejected for presenting the forms late.

The sources said Dr. Afari Gyan admitted to the error and appealed to Ghanaians to forgive him and added that the E.C told the House that he was ill advised, although he did not mention who gave him that ill-advice.

In another development, debate on the state-of-the-nation address delivered by President John Dramani Mahama on February 26 commenced in the House in a motion moved by the Deputy Minister of Education, Okudzeto Ablakwa.

The House also approved the Fees and Charges Amendment 2014, Legislative Instrument (L.I 2216). The L.I gives 72 Ministries, Department and Agencies the mandate to collect fees and charges in the provision of services to the public.

The instrument would come into force after 21 days in pursuant to the Constitution.

Also, the Minister of the Interior, Mark Owen Woyongo, was in the House answer to a number of questions relating to the provision of police stations in the districts.

By Yaw Kyei

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