The governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) were among 19 political parties in the country who failed to meet the deadline of the Electoral Commission (EC) for the submission of audited financial records.
The EC issued a May 31 ultimatum to that effect but only seven out of twenty-five political parties presented their financial accounts for scrutiny as directed by the electoral body.
The EC in April threatened to apply sanctions in accordance with the law if the parties failed to comply with the requirement of the Political Parties’ Law Act 574.
The EC, among other things, requires political parties to submit audited accounts for the year. It also requires political parties to furnish the EC with details of the existence and location of their national, regional, district, and constituency offices.
Speaking to Class FM’s Paa Kwesi Parker-Wilson, the Director of Finance of the EC, Joseph Kwaku Asamoah, explained that the Commission would soon meet to take a decision on defaulters.
According to him, the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Convention People’s Party (CPP), National Democratic Party (NDP), Democratic People’s Party (DPP), Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Independent People’s Party (IPP) and the United Front Party (UFP) are the parties who have met the obligations.
“We have about 26 political parties in our books and 7 have been able to beat the deadline,” he stated.
He further noted that in their scheme of work “all political parties are equal, and [the EC] is no respecter of political parties”.
Mr Asamoah continued: “We wait to see the punitive measures [that the commission issues to the defaulters].
“The Commission is a very dialoguing institution and we will meet with the parties and whatever action will be communicated.”
From 2012, the NDC and NPP have failed to submit their financial records and Mr Asamoah indicates that “there must be an end to the road somewhere”.
“We cannot sit down aloof. The Commission in this wisdom thinks we need to ensure compliance and the provisions of the law were not established yesterday. It has been in the statute books since 2000; there must be an end to the road,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the PPP Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond says the EC must enforce the law to the letter if the political parties fail to meet the requirement.
“We have complied and our financial statement has been submitted and we have received acknowledgement letters from the EC. We are not asking the EC to do anything but to enforce the law. The EC must operationalize the law whatever form it takes. We want to let people know that the best way to develop the nation is to be law-abiding,” he underscored.
But Chairman for CPP Professor Edmund Delle said the electoral body risked being sued should it go ahead to withdraw the certificates of political parties that fail to meet its requirements.
“There should be a dialogue between the EC and these parties if it means giving them an extension. The smaller have something to contribute to multi-party democracy or finding a way to amend the law to be more inclusive than exclusive. It is likely that some of these smaller parties can also take the EC to court,” Prof Delle added. By citifmonline.com