Clean up ‘dormant’ political parties from registry – EC urged

Members of the Council of State have urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to explore ways of ensuring that only the vibrant political parties remain on the commission’s registry.

Unanimously, they noted that the majority of the parties were dormant and did not have representation in the form of offices at the local level and recommended the need to undertake a cleanup exercise in the confines of the law, to strike out the inactive parties.

The suggestion was made on Thursday when Mrs Jean Mensa, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, led a team of commissioners of the EC to pay a courtesy call on the Council of State in Accra.

Among the team were her two deputies; Samuel Tettey, Deputy Chairman in-charge of Operations, and Dr Bossman Asare, Deputy Chairman in-charge of Corporate Services. The visit, which formed part of EC’s efforts to explain its operations and bring the commission closer to the citizenry, was also to help the commission know at firsthand, the concerns and issues of key stakeholders, regarding the commission and its operations.

Nana Otuo Siriboe II, the Chairman of the Council of State said there are regulations that govern political parties, and if they are not conforming to the rules, their licence needed to be revoked, and called on the commission to tighten up the process of political party licence acquisition to ensure only serious parties acquired the right.

“The laws make it easy for the citizenry to acquire political party licence, but if the process is reviewed and made robust, only qualified ones will get the permit,” he stressed and commended the commission for “undertaking institutional reforms in the area of procurement”, since paying attention to issues of procurement will enhance its operations.

Nana Siriboe appealed to the commission to conduct an inquiry to find out causes of spoilt ballots, and put in place measures to address the issue. Over the years, spoilt ballots have been increasing exponentially; the number is huge to the extent that it has been tagged third political party.

Mrs Mensa gave an account of the various activities undertaken since their assumption of office 10 months ago, and indicated that as a result of a lesson learnt in the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, the commission had provided security at registration centres for the first time. –myjoyonline.com

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