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General News of Thursday, 29 September 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

Bagbin backs EC’s directive on asset declaration

Ghana’s Majority Leader in Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has lauded the Electoral Commission (EC), for insisting that presidential and parliamentary aspirants declare their assets to be eligible to contest in the elections.

According to him, the decision will help in the fight against corruption in the public sector. Mr. Bagbin was speaking to the media, after filing his nomination for his seventh bid, to represent the Nadowli-Kaleo constituency in parliament.

He said, “as a people, we have decided that we are going to expose and combat corruption because we know the effect of corruption on the living standards of humanity.”

Highlighting the law, Mr. Bagbin noted that, “we have made it as a mandatory requirement that any person of a senior standing trying to lead Ghanaians to serve must first let us know what you have.

At the end of your office, you must let us know what you have again so that we can say that during the period that you were serving us, this is what you acquired.” The measures in place not withstanding, Mr. Bagbin said more could be done to improve the transparency of the process.

According to him, “the process is not too open, it is not transparent. But the law as it is; says that you declare to the Auditor General in a sealed envelope and it is stored in the Auditor General’s office. It is only when there is a legal case in court that through the process, you can request for it; and it will be brought, but that is not good enough.”

Background

Just two days to the deadline for the submission of nomination forms on Friday, September 30, the EC came out remind presidential and parliamentary nominees they will not be eligible to contest the elections if they did not declare their assets with the Auditor General.

The EC in a statement said the “candidates are to take note of the requirement to declare their assets to the Auditor-General in order to meet the eligibility criteria.”

With a little over a day to the deadline, only the Flagbearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has come out publicly to confirm the declaration of his assets to the Auditor General.

The NPP did not receive this warmly as it said the criteria was only binding persons already holding public office, and not those seeking to be office. It however said its candidate will readily declare his assets.