Implement rules on political activities, PPP tells EC

The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to implement to the letter the rules and regulations governing political party activities in the country.

It noted that the enforcement of the Political Parties Law by the EC would create a healthy political culture that would ensure that rules and regulations of the EC were respected.

The National Chairman of the PPP, Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond, who made the call, was addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday on matters relating to elections and electoral reforms.

According to him, the Political Parties Law also required the EC to audit the ability of the existing parties to meet the requirements of the law.

He, however, stated that since 1992, no political party had been disqualified or removed from the register of parties as a result of not meeting these and other requirements.

On party financing, Nii Brew-Hammond said the law clearly placed limits on who could make contributions to fund political parties and campaigns.

He, therefore, challenged the EC to begin immediately the process of verification, documentation and auditing of campaign funding of political parties.

The PPP also called on stakeholders to join it to campaign against the use of state funds to support the ruling party.

Political Parties Law

Nii Brew-Hammond explained that the Political Parties Law, Act 574 of 2000, clearly placed limits on who could make contributions to fund political parties and campaigns.

Other provisions of the act are having political parties provide audited financial reports, be national in character, have offices opened in at least two-thirds of all districts in the country, as well as have officers elected at the constituency,  regional and national levels under the supervision of the EC.

However, the PPP National Chairman lamented that the EC had not made any attempt to enforce the provisions of the law regarding funding.

He stressed that the EC, as part of its reforms, ought to enforce the Political Parties Law and disqualify parties that did not  meet the minimum criteria.

On electoral reforms, the PPP recommended that the EC should consider moving to a fully electronic voting system.

Electronic voting

Nii Brew-Hammond explained that to ensure transparency, the electronic voting software should be designed by a Ghanaian technology firm, in partnership with an international major in technology.

He  stated that the technology should ensure that rejected ballots “shall be zero, as we can no longer accept a system where over 250,000 votes are not counted”, saying those 250,000 votes were enough to decide an election.

He said each political party that met the Political Parties Law should be granted a seat on the board of the electronic voting machine company.

As part of the reforms, Nii Brew-Hammond also called for the appointment of two internationally recognized audit firms  under a 50-50 contract with local audit firms to audit the election results independently and cross-check each other’s work to ensure free and fair elections.

Electoral reforms

On electoral reforms, he said as the PPP was the forerunner in the campaign for the publication of polling stations results, it wanted to commend the EC for taking on board that suggestion to publish polling station results.

He said the steps being taken by the EC were welcome by the PPP, since the electronic transmission of results was a major component  of the full electronic voting system.

Nii Brew-Hammond said his party had been informed that there were about 600,000 dead people on the voters register  and urged the EC to take steps to clean the register by devising an effective means to remove the names of the dead so that no political party would take advantage of that huge number to inflate its votes.

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