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General News of Thursday, 6 April 2017


Amend PNDC law 284 – CODEO to EC

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) is suggesting to the Electoral Commission (EC), Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) and other stakeholders to consider amending PNDC law 284 for the conduct of free and fair elections in the coming years.

According to a communique signed by chairpersons, Justice VCRAC Crabbe and Prof. Miranda Greenstreet, the law should be amended “to set a six-month period for campaigning during each year of presidential and general elections, as part of efforts to minimize coat, check incumbency abuse and help regulate campaign financing.”

CODEO says it found evidence of massive vote buying by both the then incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party and the surest way to curb the act is the amendment of PNDC law 284.

This was part of a number of recommendations made when CODEO with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), held a lessons-leaned workshop from March 27 t0 29, 2017 at the Aqua Safari Resort in Ada to assess the conduct of the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

The workshop which brought together a diverse group of election stakeholders to a single platform took stock of the conduct of the elections and drew valuable lessons for improving the conduct of future elections.

Among other recommendations, CODEO, urged the EC to enforce electoral laws.

“EC should establish an enforcement unit, which should include a legal advisory support, to enforce laws regarding the conditions for maintaining a registered party and accounting for political party campaign finances. If setting this unit may impose undue financial burden, the EC should consider delegating some of these responsibilities, particularly the auditing of political party expenditures, to the Auditor-General or collaborate with the Auditor-General to fulfil its mandate.

“To address the challenges of curbing the proliferation of inactive political parties, the Commission should enforce the provisions of Article 55 (7) of the 1992 Constitution requiring registered parties to organise in at least two-thirds of constituencies,” it said.

“The EC should work on standardising its schedule of fees for nomination and accreditation among other services. In setting fees, the Commission, as a public institution, should aim to primarily cover its administrative cost for providing the service,” it added.