ELECTIONS SPENDING AND ISSUES CHDSCGHANA RESEARCHNo money for assembly elections – Dr Afari GyanThe district assembly elections, scheduled to take place all over the country on Tuesday,December 28, is threatening to become a non-event. According to Dr. Kwadwo AfariGyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission, it had not received funding for theexercise barely three weeks to the event.In spite of the financial constraints, the commission, he assured the Ghanaian electorate,was preparing for the elections, so that if funds are released from the centralgovernment fund, his outfit would not be found wanting.The EC Chairman said this when he took key personnel from the Information ServicesDepartment, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), and staff of the EC- all drawn from the Volta Region through the rudiments of elections, and howparticipants could assist in public education on the impending elections, at a workshoporganised in Ho yesterday.Dr. Afari Gyan told the participants that his outfit had shown great commitmenttowards the elections but the non-availability of funds would leave them with no optionthan to suspend it.He warned that the late release funds could also affect the quality of the ballot papersthey intend to print, and added that pictures against names of candidates could getmixed up.He said the amendment of the Legislative Instrument (LI) for each of the electoral areascontributed to the delay in the holding of the elections.The EC boss said in every election, there should be adequate public education on theexercise to create public interest for more people to participate in it. Unfortunately,there have been little funds to engage in such education campaigns this time round.He regretted that some of the media houses do not consider the exercise a civil one,with the insistence of payment for advertisements before passing on any informationfrom the Electoral Commission to the public."You see, sections of the media are not helping us in carrying out public educationactivities, but I must admit that others are very helpful, and as a Commission, we knowthem. How can we, as a Commission, pay these media houses that demand money
Otherwise, she warned, womens involvement in such exercises would continue todecline.Ghana ought to change its electoral system in line with international protocols to whichit is a signatory to achieve a gender-balanced participation and representation ingovernance and decision making bodies, she said.Mrs Iddrisu, consequently, called for a mechanism to support women to start theirpolitical campaigns and sustain them towards the 2012 Parliamentary Primaries andsubsequently the general election.She also called on the women to take a vital interest in the forthcoming districtassembly elections slated for December 28, to make them visible in their communities toenhance their chances of being elected saying, "We cannot afford a drop in thenumbers".Mrs Frema Osei Opare, Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wugoun, called forthe setting up of a "Womens Political Fund" to be administered by an independentinstitution to be used to support women politicians because they did not have themeans to raise the funds involved in running political campaigns.Mrs Osei Opare, who spoke on the topic: "Towards Increasing Womens Participationand Representation in Parliament: Real Strategies and Measures," proposed that allcurrent women parliamentarians be retained unopposed or have their seats contestedthe primaries level by only women to increase their participation and representation inParliament.She also called on female journalists to champion the cause of women in the country.Mrs Jean Mensa, Executive Director of IEA, further elaborated on the programmesaying it spanned 2010 to 2013 and would involve activities such as joint workshopbetween the womens wings of the Ghana Political Parties Programme and womensCivil Society Organizations (CSO).They would discuss the outcome of such workshops, identify new ideas and strategiesfrom the CSOs and broaden the agenda to include non-political party women desirousof working with the womens wings to attain the objective of increased womensrepresentation in Parliament.Ms Daria Fane, Head of the Governance Section of the EU Delegation to Ghana, saidwomens participation in political decision making institutions was an avenue formaking meaningful contributions towards development.
Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah, Minister for Women and Childrens Affairs, who chairedthe programme, called on women to be practical and visible among their constituents toenable them to win the trust of the people needed to enhance their chances at winningpolitical elections.Source: GNAStory from Myjoyonline.Com News:http://news.myjoyonline.com/news/201011/56666.aspPublished: 11/29/2010EC ready to receive nomination of candidates for assembly pollTHE Electoral Commission (EC) is ready to receive nomination of candidates for the2010 District Assembly I and Unit Committee Elections from tomorrow to SaturdayNovember 27, 2010.A statement signed by the ECs acting Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Christian Owusu-Parry, said prospective candidates may obtain nomination forms from the deputyreturning officers, in charge of special duties in the electoral areas or units where theywere seeking election.Nomination forms may also be obtained from the returning officers for the districts atthe district offices of the Commission.The statement urged prospective candidates not to pay any money for obtaining thenomination forms or pay any filling fee."Prospective candidates are also to note that they are to attach three recently takenphotographs to the nomination forms", it said.The statement said persons contesting the unit committee elections were supposed tohave a proposer, a seconder and 10 other registered voters in the electoral area or unitwhere they were seeking election, c supporting their candidature."It is the hope of the Commission that prospective candidates will take note of thesearrangements and act accordingly" it said.