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CGM hails EC for publishing political parties’ accounts

BY PHILIP ANTOH | philip.antoh@dailyheritage.com.gh

CITIZEN GHANA MOVEMENT (CGM), a civil society organisation, has commended the Electoral Commission (EC) for publishing for the first time in the 27 years’ history of Ghana’s Fourth Republic, the audited accounts of all political parties, making it a first step in the anti-corruption campaign.

According to the group, even though the laws of the land and the Political Parties Act mandate all political parties to present their statements of accounts to the public on an annual basis, through the Commission , this law was arbitrarily ignored by the Commission and the parties.

Speaking to the DAILY HERITAGE after the first official publication, the Head of Operations at CGM, Mr Ato Banful, said making public the audited accounts of these political parties was a first step towards the anti-corruption fight in the country.

Mr Banful said CGM achieved the feat after securing court judgment on February 9, 2018 from the Human Rights court in Accra directing the EC to publish the statements of accounts of all political parties for the purpose of public information in accordance with national law.

In a press release to the paper, CGM hails the EC for publishing accounts of the parties, which publication the group said was long overdue, and that the publication will engage industry players to scrutinise the documents to ascertain their authenticity.

Below is the fool statement

Citizen Ghana Movement Advocacy Prompts Electoral Commission to Publish Financial Accounts of Political Parties

Following a two-year advocacy campaign and a lawsuit led by Citizen Ghana Movement (CGM), the Electoral Commission of Ghana has released the financial accounts of all political parties, marking a significant step towards transparency and accountability.

The release of these statements of accounts is the first time in the 27-year history of Ghana’s Fourth Republic that the financial records of political parties have been made available to the public.

Publication of the statements reverses the decades-long trend of political parties breaching the 1992 Constitution, which guarantees all Ghanaian citizens the right to information, and the Political Parties Act, which mandates that all political parties present their statements of accounts to the public on an annual basis, through the Commission.

Despite this breach of national law, the Electoral Commission previously failed to enforce these provisions until now.

On Friday, 9th February, 2018, the Citizen Ghana Movement secured an order from the Human Rights Court, Accra directing the Electoral Commission (EC) to publish the statements of accounts of all political parties for the purpose of public information in accordance with national law.

The Honourable Court ordered the Commission to perform these duties by September 1, 2018. However, the Commission failed to meet the deadline ostensibly because of the constitutional procedures and subsequent transition going on at the time.

To prompt action, CGM wrote to the new Commission in December 2018 to remind the public body to comply with the Court’s order. In reply, the Commission issued a notice demanding that all political parties submit their statements of accounts to the Commission by the 13th of February 2019.

Subsequently on 21st March, 2019, the Commission published the statements of accounts of all registered political parties in the Daily Graphic newspaper.

In accordance with the Court’s order, the Commission also prescribed a fee that the CitizenGhana Movement was to pay for copies of the accounts. The Citizen

Ghana Movement has paid this amount and expects to receive the copies shortly.

Financial disclosures by political parties are a key public accountability mechanism. Making the sources of political party funding public discourages the acceptance of funds from unsavoury individuals or organizations. 

The CitizenGhana Movement is hopeful that the release of these statements of accounts will mark the beginning of a new era of transparency in the financing of Ghanaian political parties.

Source: Ghana/dailyheriatge.com.gh/March 25

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