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General News of Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Source: myjoyonline.com

Financial drought: Assembly elections, referendum in limbo

Ghana’s elections governing body, the Electoral Commission has warned it may not be able to conduct district level elections next year due to funding challenges.

The Commission says a referendum on the 1992 constitution next year also risks being postponed unless government releases 186 million Ghana cedis needed for the exercises.

The EC says government’s decision to cut its budget of 327 million by half will seriously affect preparations towards the 2016 Presidential and Parliament elections.

Joy FM’s Parliamentary Correspondent Elton John Brobbey reported the Electoral Commission as saying that its plans to reduce the number of people who cast their vote at the polling station by expanding the number of polling stations from 26,000 to 47,000 are under threat.

The EC which was in Parliament to defend its budget said it may not also be able to implement a provision that requires all voters to be biometrically verified being allowed to cast their ballot.

The requirement was introduced as a measure to enhance the integrity of the country’s elections but the EC says implementing it will require additional 70,000 biometric verification machines which must be delivered by April 2014.

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