The Electoral Commission (EC) has given the strongest indication yet that it will not relent in its effort to enforce the provisions of the Political Parties Act, 2000 (Act 574) to ensure that all political parties play to the rules of the game
In spite of the law, there are growing concerns that the EC has held back the whip on political parties which are widely perceived not to have met the requirements of the law to operate.
The concerns are grounded on the fact that some of the political parties show up during elections, only to fold up their activities after such national exercises.
In an effort to enforce the law and
The Director of Research, Monitoring
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He said the inspection exercise in Accra had been successful, except that some of the parties had relocated their national offices out of Accra, for which reason the commission was yet to inspect those facilities.
Although he declined to mention those parties which had relocated their national offices outside Accra, on the grounds that the exercise was still ongoing, he gave an assurance that all steps were being taken to follow up on those national offices located outside Accra.
“We inspected the national offices of the political parties last two weeks and it was largely
He said the EC officials were not out to witch-hunt any political party but ensure that the provisions of Act 574 were followed to the letter.
“We want to see if the parties are functioning and if they meet the requirements by Act 574, which include the fact that they should have functioning offices, file their accounts at the EC and whether their offices are owned by them or rented,” he said.
When asked about the number of political parties that the EC was dealing with in the exercise, he
He declined to comment on the status of the political parties that had not filed their financial accounts as required by law, except to say that at the appropriate time the EC would come out with clear statements on the issue.
The Political Parties Act, 2000 (Act 574) mandates political parties to have offices at the national and regional levels and at least in two-thirds of the districts in the country.
However, a 2015 report by the EC showed that out of the 23 political parties that had registered with the commission, only the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) met the physical presence requirement in at least 144 of the 216 districts.
The report cited the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC), the National Democratic Party (NDP), the National Reform Party (NRP), the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) and other parties as not meeting that requirement.
It said it found a trend where some offices alleged to belong to the parties were not even painted in party
Predictably, the 2015 report said the NDC and the NPP had 195 and 200 district offices, respectively.
Following that report, a number of civil society