Parliament has urged Finance Ministry to release an outstanding amount of ¢329 million to the Electoral Commission in preparation for the December 2020 general elections.
Majority leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu told JoyNews that a report of Parliament’s Special Budget Committee on a road map to the upcoming elections noted that the amount is outstanding money from 2019 which the committee is convinced will enable the Commission to procure relevant equipment and devices for the successful conduct of the 2020 election.
He added that in times past, the Commission has presented its difficulties faced during the election year due to lack of funds and logistics, which Parliament wants to forestall this year.
“As the chair of the Special Budget Committee, it is my responsibility to know what progress the EC makes and reach out to the Minister of Finance and the Minority Leader to address difficulties present,” he said.
The Majority Leader in Parliament relayed that it was the minority who pushed and insisted that the outstanding amount be released to the Electoral Commission.
“The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu relayed the amount needed to procure the biometric machines would not suffice if ¢329 million was not released to them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Kyei Mensah Bonsu has rejected calls by the Minority for the EC Boss to appear on the Floor as requested by Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarack to answer questions, unless it becomes extremely necessary.
He, however, advised that measures must be put in place to address financial difficulties faced by the EC especially in an election year.
“Moving forward, to avoid these hiccups it is important that in any election year, monies allocated to the Electoral Commission should be arranged first.
“So that as and when they need them they can easily fall on them and not experience any difficulties in the election year,” the Suame MP said.