A Governance Analyst, Dr. Eric Oduro Osae has cautioned government against starving the Electoral Commission (EC) of much-needed funds in its quest to wean the country off donor support for the 2020 election.
Speaking to Citi News, Dr. Osae insisted that irrespective of the source of funding, the government must put the electoral commission in the right financial state to deliver credible elections.
“This is the first time but can we do [it]? We cannot toy with our elections. For instance, if the Electoral Commission does not have enough resources to be able to run a credible and impartial election, donor funding will have helped us to do the same. So what will this mean for the elections and results? In the absence of donor funding, the elections must be credible and fair,” he said.
Government has disclosed that it is committed to raising funds internally to support electoral activities across the country for the Presidential and Parliamentary polls in 2020.
This is said to be in line with the government’s “Ghana Beyond Aid agenda” and will mean that government will not be looking for support from donor partners to carry out its statutory obligations like the running of elections.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the improvement in domestic revenue mobilization is critical to ensure the government is able to carry out its statutory obligations.
“In other statutory obligation for the year, particularly on elections, it will be carried out within the national resource envelope. This is a critical feature of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda. What all of this means is that we ourselves have to look at all these obligations and fund them. The days that we have to be relying on donor partners to execute some of these critical national obligations are over. It falls squarely within our ambits and what that means is that the generation of our internal resources to meet those obligations is key.”
Ghana depends on support from donor partners and central government to fund its parliamentary, presidential and local assembly elections.
This has brought calls for the Electoral Commission (EC) to introduce special taxes to fund elections in the country.
But EC Chair, Jean Mensa has shot down such requests arguing that the ordinary Ghanaian is already overburdened.
‘In Ghana, it is the government of Ghana that funds our election in its totality. So I do not think that the imposition of election tax will be something that the people of Ghana will take lightly because we are already over-taxed. And you know that we do have a lot of resources and with efficient management, we should be able to fund our elections”, she said recently.