Accra, Aug. 31, GNA - The Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) has wished contestants in the nation’s local level elections well, but raised concerns on a number of issues, including the state of the voters’ register.
Ghanaians are going to elect representatives at the district and unit levels, on Tuesday September 1.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensa- Bonsu, Minority Leader in Parliament, on behalf of the Minority, at a news conference in Accra, sent “the best of luck” to the contestants, with a “wish that the best candidates should win”.
He however observed that the Electoral Commission (EC) faltered on the date to commence the process on at least two occasions “as if no lessons has been learnt from the ‘tot, tot’ events of four years ago, when, clearly, the processes became, what he called “epileptic”.
The Commission was to commence the process of elections in December 2014, but was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, following a suit by a disgruntled aspirant Benjamin Eyi Mensah, a fisherman in Winneba, brought an action against for closing nominations before the maturation of the Constitutional Instrument (CI) 85.
The EC was yet to lay before Parliament a new legislation which would mature after 21 days to pave way for the opening of nominations across the country.
The Supreme Court consequently last February annulled the District Assembly and Unit Committee elections scheduled to take place on March 3, and again rescheduled the filing of nominations scheduled for last July because of a parliamentary by-election in the Talensi Constituency.
“The Electoral Commission thereafter conceded that the error they had committed cost the nation about GH¢ 100 million that was about $ 50 million then. Today that waste $ 50 million is equivalent to over GH¢ 200 million,” Mr Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu said.
The Minority said that amount was close to about half the amount of conducting a new and more credible voters’ register, to make for free, fair and peaceful general election in 2016, and called on the plenaries of the Assemblies, Parliament and the Auditor General to ensure that no improprieties have been committed in the period following the dissolution of the assemblies on March 25.
“It is important to note that, in the period following the dissolution of the assemblies, the assemblies have somehow continued their existence and expenditures have been made, in many instances without the proper approving authority, that is, the plenary of the assemblies, Parliament and the Auditor General,” he said.
On the voters’ register for the local level elections, Mr Kyei-Mensa- Bonsu said the NPP would have wished that a “different and more credible voters register should be used for the assembly and other elections.”
He recalled the serious issues Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the NPP Vice Presidential Candidate for 2016, and the NPP had raised in respect of the voters’ register, and said if it were not possible revise the register in two or three weeks because of the limit of time, the EC must do all possible for a “different and more credible voters’ register” for the 2016 and other elections.
“While the outcome of the district assembly elections may not impinge on the nodal issues that the party has meticulously studied and unearthed, it is our expectation that the elections will not becloud the necessary considerations the Commission shall have to accord the issues,” the Minority Leader said.