The European Union (EU), has released a grant of 5 million Euros to three constitutional bodies to aid the conduct of this year’s election scheduled for November.
The three beneficiary institutions include the Electoral Commission (EC), the National Media Commission (NMC), and the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE).
Speaking at the launch of the grant in Accra, the EU Ambassador to Ghana, William Hanna, stated that the support of these institutions was an indication of the EU countries’ regard for supporting democracy.
“Some of our member states are also adding through their bilateral programmes specific assistance for the electoral process. It is an indication of how much attention we attach to this area of supporting democracy,” he said.
Speaking at the launch, the EC Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, highlighted the importance of the EU support to the NMC, NCCE and the EC.
“Why that is important to us is because at the Electoral Commission, we do not own the election. We work very closely with all the other governance institutions, the NMC and the NCCE as well as other stakeholders. How strong the NMC is, how strong the NCCE directly impacts on our work, and how weak they are impacts on our work,” she explained.
Mrs. Osei noted that the fact that the funds have been given to the three institutions would help them work more efficiently ahead of the polls in November.
The EC earmarked some reforms for implementation after the 2012 general elections and Mrs. Osei believes this grant will help them carry out the targeted reforms.
“Specifically for the EC, the activities that are being funded under the support enable us to carry out very significant reforms that were agreed after the 2012 elections,” she said.
Mrs. Osei noted that, one of these key reforms included moves to ensure presidential and parliamentary election results for every polling station are published in a bid to enhance transparency.
She said there were plans to provide laptops at every collation centre, train their constituency collation officers and increase voter outreach and engagement programmes.
The United States and the United Kingdom have also offered similar support to Ghana’s electoral process. Meanwhile the government of Ghana’s funding for the election is yet to be released to the commission.