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General News of Friday, 20 October 2006

Source: GNA

Democratic Freedom Party receives final certificate

Accra, Oct. 20, GNA - The Electoral Commission (EC) on Friday presented the final electoral certificate to the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) in Accra to operate as a political party under the 1992 Constitution and in accordance with the Political Parties Act. The ceremony marked the conclusion of the process for authorization to operate as a legitimate political party - organise a national congress to elect officials to manage affairs of the Party, and to actively participate in multi-party democratic practices in the country.

Mr Kwadwo Sarfo Kantaka, EC Deputy Chairman in Charge of Operations, and Mr David Adenzee-Kanga, Deputy Chairman In charge of Finance and Administration, and other officials of EC presented the certificate to the DFP Interim Executives.

Mr Kantanka charged the Executives to immediately set out to organise a Delegates' Congress to elect Officials, who would steer affairs of the Party. "You cannot hide somewhere to elect officials but you are under obligation to involve the EC in the election of all party officials."

On the call for EC to eliminate docile political parties from the electoral register, the Deputy Chairman noted: "The number of parties are never too large, even though some parties are expecting EC to cancel their certificate."

Mr Adenzee-Kanga charged DFP to adhere to internal democratic principles and abide by the tenets of the Political Parties Law especially on submission of audited accounts to the Commission and tasked them to study Act 574.

The Act empowers the Commission to cancel the registration certificate of a political party on the grounds that it has refused, neglected or failed to establish or maintain national, regional and district offices.

The parties are also under obligation to declare their assets - nature of office facility; date and mode of acquisition; number of rooms and office equipment; type of furniture in use and evidence of payment of salaries of permanent staff; utility bills and other party expenditures.

Mr Adenzee-Kanga told the Ghana News Agency that within 90 days after the issue of the final certificate of registration; a political party shall furnish the Commission with details of the existence and location of its national, regional, district and constituency offices or such longer period as the Commission may allow.

The parties are also to submit to the Commission, a written declaration of cash or kind donations made to the initial assets of the party by its founding members.

The Deputy Chairman Finance and Administration also noted that for sound financial management and accountability of political party operations, the law required that a political party within six months from December 31st of each year file with the EC a return indicating the state of its accounts, the source of its funds and membership dues paid. He said the Commission should also be informed of contributions or donations in cash or kind, property and time of acquisition and audited accounts for the year.

Alhaji Abdul Rahaman Issah, Interim Chairman of the Party, who received the certificate commended EC for offering operational and administrative directives for the certification.

He said DFP as a new political party intended to bring together like-minded people for the purpose of galvanizing all Ghanaians who have virtually lost hope and confidence in the political establishment due to the performance of political parties in the country. "Unfortunately, many Ghanaians, having gone through the administration of the political parties, have become despondent and have virtually lost hope for a better future."

Alhaji Issah said the DFP believed that political parties, which sought the mandate of Ghanaians, must unequivocally subscribe to and demonstrate their irrevocable commitment to the basic tents of Ghana's Constitution through the organisation and conduct of their own affairs. 20 Oct. 06