Governance Analyst, Dr Eric Oduro Osae, has cautioned the government against under-resourcing the Electoral Commission (EC) in the 2020 general elections as it moves to fund the elections internally devoid of donor support, ABC NEWS can report.
He argues that the inability of government to give the EC the necessary financial support in a bid to be independent in the 2020 general elections has the tendency to undermine the credibility of the elections.
Although Dr Osae acknowledges that the decision by government is not a bad one, he observed that donor supports could also play a critical role in the conduct of the elections.
He however, added that if government is really determined to be independent in the elections, it should ensure that the EC is put on a proper financial footing for a free and fair election.
“Is it the first time that we are doing it? Can we do it? These are some of the issues because we cannot toy with the elections. So if for instance, the EC does not have enough resources to be able to run a credible and impartial election, I think that our donor partners can help us run an impartial and credible election,” he said.
“What would it mean for the elections and results? Those are the unknown. Can it be that once we are dealing with it now we will be able to ask some questions in ensuring that at least in the absence of donor partners, the election will continue to be credible and fair?” he asked.
Dr Osae’s remarks follow an announcement made by the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah that government is committed to raising funds internally to support all activities in the upcoming 2020 elections.
The minister who was speaking after Cabinet’s 64th regular meeting and night retreat at Peduase in the Eastern Region indicated that the move was in conformity with government’s vision of achieving a “Ghana Beyond Aid.”
“Other statutory obligations of the year especially the election year or the election are to be carried out within the national resource envelope. This is a critical feature of the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda. What that means is that all of these obligations we ourselves have to look to funding them.
“The days when we have to be relying on donor partners to execute some of these critical national obligations are over. It falls squarely within our ambit and what that means is that the generation of the internal resources to meet those key obligations is key,” Mr Nkrumah said.
But Dr Osae wants government to ensure that the required resources are made available for the election activities regardless of the source of the funding to ensure credible and fair elections.