02.12.2007 Politics

EC to top up budget with 70 billion cedis

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Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, Deputy Majority Leader, on Friday said the Electoral Commission (EC) needed an additional 70 billion cedis to top up its 2008 budget to carry out its activities for the general elections.

He said the 2008 budget could not spell out the details of all activities of the EC, but everything was to be done to ensure that all concerns were addressed to ensure a successful election.

The Deputy Majority Leader was responding to some concerns raised by Edward Salia, (NDC-Jirapa).

Mr Salia had appealed to the EC not to limit the revision of the voters' register to only the electoral areas but extend the exercise to the polling station level to enable many eligible voters to register.

He said if the exercise was conducted at only the electoral area it may disenfranchise many people who may not be up to the task of making any extra journey to the electoral areas when they could easily register at the polling stations close by.

Mr Salia was contributing to the 2008 debate and made particular reference to the portion in the budget, which said the existing voters register would be reviewed to include those who have not attained the age of 18 years but the exercise was to be conducted at the electoral area level.

Earlier, Mr Salia touched on the northern development fund to be set up to support the development of the three northern regions and said it was important that a legal backing be given to the establishment of the fund to ensure sustainability because of the changes in government and to make sure that inputs into the funds was compulsory and not discretionary.

He said this would institutionalize the fund and ensure proper management of the funds just like the GETFUND.

Mr Abuga Pele, (NDC-Chiana-Paga) in his contribution, said government's claims that it had created over 200,000 jobs to solve unemployment was far from the truth because most of the jobs created under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), were really not permanent but casual or temporary jobs.

He said the youth in the NYEP had no job security in the form of pensions, social security and other employment conditions.

Dr. Francis Osafo-Mensah, (NPP-Mpraeso) who touched on the health sector, said government's aim at promoting preventive health in the budget through educating Ghanaians on healthy eating habits and lifestyles and the screening on common cancers in general public was a step in the right direction.

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