Progressive People’s Party to resist unorthodox criteria

Accra, Mar. 15, GNA – The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) on Tuesday said it would resist any attempt by the Electoral Commission (EC) and other entities that might use an unorthodox criteria for assessing political parties.

According to Nii Allotey Brew Hammond, the Party’s National Chairman, PPP finds it rather unfortunate that some officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) use phrases like ‘participation in elections since 1992′, to define active political parties.

He said the Party further believes that the use of ‘parties with representation in parliament’, by organisations such as the Institute of Economic Affairs, STAR Ghana, some media houses, to legitimise political parties, was a constitutional deviation and an affront to the laws governing the conduct of political parties in Ghana.

He called on those organisations to desist from promoting a two-party debate for the Elections 2016, since it was potentially, a subversion of the 1992 Constitution which provides for a multi-party democratic state.

Nii Brew Hammond was addressing a press conference in Accra on matters relating to electoral reforms and the effective management of the 2016 electoral processes.

He said to ensure this; the PPP insists that the EC implement the proposals relating to electoral reforms and the effective management of the 2016 Electoral processes, which include the strict enforcement of the Political Parties Law, Act (574) of 2000, and disqualification of those that did not meet the minimum criteria.

He said the Political Parties Law requires that Parties be national in character, have offices opened in at least two-thirds of all districts, have officers elected at the constituency, regional and national levels under the supervision of the EC, and provide financial reports.

The law, he said, further requires that the EC audits the ability of the existing parties to ensure that they meet these requirements, but since 1992 no political party has been disqualified or removed from the register of parties as a result of not meeting these and other requirements.

He said when these proposals are implemented, ‘we will then have a legal and formal basis to select active political parties for any political engagement’, and these would ensure some level of credibility in the electoral processes and also prevent the recurrence of an election dispute.

Nii Brew Hammond urged the EC to urgently begin the process to ensure the verification, documentation and auditing of campaign funding, and also consider moving to a fully electronic voting system similar, to those found in countries such as Brazil and Mexico, such that votes are transmitted electronically to two separate locations directly from the polling stations.

He said the PPP commends the EC for the steps taken to procure the use of Informational and Communication Technology in its Election Results Management Systems, and its subsequent invitation for eligible firms to express their interest in the provision of the various services that would be needed.

The PPP, however, recommended that the EC as a matter of national interest make it a condition in the bidding process that wholly-owned Ghanaian Information and Technology firms with at least 50 per cent Ghanaians ownership qualify to apply for the process, to ensure technology transfer and also prevent the situation of entrusting the country’s entire electoral management system in the hands of a foreign company.

GNA


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