Respect minority parties in political dispensation – UPP

The United Progressive Party (UPP) has asked the Electoral Commission (EC) to respect the smaller parties because they contributed to the political dispensation of the country.

It explained that following the notice of the EC to revoke the registration of 17 minority parties it had showed disrespect to them since the information was made public.

“The EC does not respect us even when we want to meet her to discuss issues, they never allowed us to meet them and when we wrote to them we did not put it in the public domain so they must accord us that respect,” the party complained.

Akwasi Addai Odike, founder and leader of UPP, insisted that the Commission already had the required information because they were provided ahead of previous elections and did not understand why they made it public they could not find their offices.

The EC has asked minority parties to respond in writing justifying why they should be maintained on the political parties list because they had no national and regional offices as required by the act governing political parties.

Between May and June 2022, the Commission embarked on a nationwide exercise to inspect offices of all registered political parties, after the exercise, it invoked Section 15 (3) (c) of the Political Parties Act of 2000 (Act 574) which mandated it to cancel registration of political parties that do not have offices at national and regional levels.

But Mr Odike alleged that sometimes the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) failed to submit their audited reports but it took EC many months before they submit them which were normal to political parties.

Reacting to the move, Professor Ransford Gyampo, political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, implored all stakeholders to support and assist EC in its bid to enforce its regulatory mandate since democracy was expensive.

He pointed out that political parties worth their salt must satisfy all requirements that made them political parties to practice multi-party democracy to enable them be on ballot papers.

“The need to cut off the parties should not be because they are expensive to maintain but because they are not political parties but election machines and EC can invoke some aspects of the Political Parties Act to cancel their registration and if they disagree, they can go to court,” Prof Gyampo stated.

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