The Electoral Commission (EC) has revealed that Ghana might spend about GHC 1.2 billion on the general elections.
Chairman of the EC, Madam Charlotte Osei, who presented the Commission’s budget estimates to Parliament on Thursday, said the budget was premised on 30,000 polling stations.
“… We also premised the budget on an exchange rate of 3.89 cedis to the dollar. The total budget for the elections is GHC 1,470,000,000. If we include the administration and other costs which are not directly election related, it gives us a budget of 1.2 billion. In the budget ceilings we have announced by the Finance Ministry, we have a budget of 800 million for elections, the first round so this gives us a funding gap of 400 million Ghana cedis.”
She further revealed that the Finance Ministry had made provisions for a run off.
“This budget does not include the cost of auditing a new register. There is some provision for a run off, the Ministry of Finance made a provision of 200 million. I think we have a budget of about 350 million, so there is another shortfall there. However the budget makes provision for all the reforms which we have agreed with the political parties.”
The Minority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu on the same floor of Parliament expressed concerns over the EC’s budget, saying the cost of conducting elections in Ghana is consistently increasing.
“The Commissioner tells us that in 2008, the total expenditure on the elections was $ 138 million. At the time the voting populace was about 11 million so that indeed translated into about 12 dollars, 30 cents per head. That figure was good because the average for Africa is 13 dollars per capita per head.
“Now entering 2012 it shot up to 267 million with a population of about 14 . 2 million, it came up to about 18 dollars, 80 cents per capita. That was far above the average for Africa, which is 13 dollars. We are coming to 2016 and the figure that is being given to us is 269. I am only saying to the EC , that we want the elections to have integrity but it is getting astronomical and it’s getting too high.”