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Politics of Tuesday, 29 January 2019


$12 spent on each voter in 2016 general elections expensive – EC boss

Jean Mensa, EC boss Jean Mensa, EC boss

Over 12 dollars was spent on each voter in Ghana’s 2016 general elections, the Electoral Commission (EC) has revealed describing the figure as expensive.

Chairperson of the Commission, Jean Mensa, who described the figure as being high, compared to how much was spent per voter in Nigeria and Tanzania in 2015, said elections in Ghana was becoming expensive.

“For example in 2016, the cost of elections in Ghana was 12 dollars and even over 12 dollars per voter compared to 9 dollars per voter in Nigeria in 2015 and five dollars per voter in Tanzania in 2015,” she said.

She noted that due to the expensive nature of Ghana’s elections, the country usually falls on its development partners to support the conduct of elections; something she said did not ensure independence.

“Our elections are fast becoming very expensive ventures and we constantly rely on our development partners to partly fund our elections thereby compromising our independence,” she stated.

Speaking at the 17th international electoral affairs symposium in Accra Monday, Mrs. Mensa said the Commission having realised this, was working to ensure that the cost of elections in Ghana was reduced.

She said at the heart of the new leadership of the Commission is ensuring value for money in everything that is done because it will not want to be associated with running expensive elections.

“I think value for money is at the heart of everything that we do and it’s not pleasant; it’s not a good feeling to be labelled as a commission that has [been] running costly elections,” she said.

The chairperson added “…I’m sure that as we move on and go forward we could reduce this further”.

Expensive biometric devices

Mrs. Mensa also revealed that on assumption of office five months ago, she realised biometric devices for the commission were procured at expensive prices, something she said they will be working to beat down moving forward

“Since our assumption of office, we have been concerned about the high cost associated with the procurement of hardware, namely our biometric registration and verification devices used in the electoral process.