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General News of Friday, 3 June 2016

Source: Peace FM

EC can't sanction political parties - NPP

Reports that Political Parties are to face punitive sanctions for failing to comply with the Political Parties Law, Act 574 attached to the demand of the Electoral Commission (EC) for all registered political parties to submit their audited financial accounts has angered the Director of Elections for the opposition NPP, Martin Adjei Mensah-Korsah.

According to him, it is surprising to hear the Director of Finance of the Electoral Commission (EC) state that there will be sanctions to political parties that have not filed their financial account.

Explaining his surprise on Okay Fm’s 'Ade Akye Abia' Morning Show, Martin Adjei Mensah-Korsah said the word 'sanction' used by the EC is a strong one as it has not reached that level.

He stressed that the Electoral Commission (EC) cannot talk of punitive sanctions when it has also failed to enforce the full implementation of the law by making sure that all the registered political parties have active offices in all the districts before qualifying to run the party and stand for any elections.

“EC has failed to enforce the full implementation of the law which binds all political parties to establish effective offices in all districts and regions, yet the EC is still registering political parties,” he stated.

He reiterated that “if the commission wants to be taken serious, it must apply that particular law effectively and that way, you have every moral right to insist others follow the law; other than that if others don’t comply and you complain then it does not auger well.”

In April this year, to show proof of how accountable the political parties are to the electorate and the general Ghanaian populace, the commission in accordance with the Political Parties Law, Act 574, gave the parties up to May 31, 2016 to submit details of their audited accounts or face punitive sanctions.

It further requested the parties that participated in the Talensi by-election to submit their respective detailed expenditure on the election to it.

Additionally, the commission, per Section 15(1) of the Political Parties Law, Act 574, directed all political parties that had been issued with final certificates of registration within the last 90 days to furnish it with the details of their existence and location of its offices at the national, regional, district and constituency levels.

The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the largest opposition political party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), are among 19 political parties that could not meet the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) deadline for the submission of their audited financial accounts.

As of the close of last Tuesday, only seven political parties out of the 26 so far registered by the election management body had complied with the directive for all political parties to present their financial accounts for scrutiny.

Accountable parties

But as of the close of the deadline last Tuesday, only the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the National Democratic Party (NDP), the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), the Independent People’s Party (IPP) and the United Front Party (UFP) had met their obligations.

The seven political parties, according to EC records, submitted their financial statements from 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. The All People’s Congress (APC), the 26th political party which recently received its final certificate to commence business as a fully registered political party was not part of the parties expected to submit their accounts because they had just started operating.

19 Parties fail

Ironically, from 2012, the NDC and the NPP, among 19 other parties, failed to submit their financial statements to the EC. The other parties are the People’s National Convention (PNC), the Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere Party (EGLE Party), the United Ghana Movement (UGM), the Ghana Democratic Republican Party (GDRP), the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) and the Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD).

The rest are the National Reform Party (NRP), the Ghana National Party (GNP), the United Renaissance Party (URP), the New Vision Party (NVP), the United Love Party (ULP), the United Front Party (UFP), the United Development System Party (UDSP), the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), the Yes People’s Party (YPP) and the United Progressives Party (UPP).

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