The Asantehene, Otumfour Osei Tutu II has blamed the Electoral Commission for the large numbers of political parties in the country indicating that the commission is failing to use its laws to check the qualification of these so called parties.
According to Otumfour “you are to blame because a few people come together that they are a party then you (EC) go ahead to register them, anybody turns up in your office then you register them… You have to do proper background check to ensure that they qualify before you register them.”
He said these when the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission paid a courtesy call on him and chiefs of the Ashanti region.
The Asantehene said “your own law states that you have to ensure the filing of audited accounts annually and the submission of expenditure returns six months after general elections and by elections… All these things are available for you to use to check and ensure that you sanitize the electoral system.
“Demand their accounts and necessary documents to know where they got their funding from. Also you have to tell those who do not have offices in two-thirds of the 216 districts that according to the law they cannot be registered as a political party because they do not meet the criteria.”
Ghana currently has about 23 political parties and only two of them, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have the required two-thirds party offices in all Districts across the country and active in all ten regions, a provision stated in section 9 of the Political Parties Law, Act 574.
Section 9(c) states that “the Commission shall not register any political party unless the party has branches in all the regions and is, in addition organized in not less than two-thirds of the districts in each region.”
Earlier this year the EC threatened that it would withdraw the licenses of any political party that do not meet the requirements of the provision above but that threat did not see the light of day.
By Martin Asiedu-Dartey|3news.com|Ghana