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02.12.2003 Politics

EC to inpespect premises of Political Parties

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Accra, Dec. 2, GNA- The Electoral Commission (EC) on Tuesday served notices to all political parties of an impending inspection of National, Regional and District office premises of all registered parties.

The exercise begins on Thursday, December 4, at the National Headquarters with the regional and district premises scheduled for December 8-12.

Ghana News Agency investigations show that letters for the inspection signed by Mr Kwadwo Sarfo-Kantanka, Deputy Chairman (Operations) had been dispatched to all political parties.

The letter requested all the political parties to furnish the Commission with their office address, location, and fixed telephone numbers of their premises at the various levels to facilitate the location and inspection of the offices.

The directive also requested all political parties to instruct and designate a Ranking Executive member to be at post to receive and assist officials of the Commission in their work.

The ten registered political parties are, New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Convention People's Party (CPP).

The others are People's National Convention (PNC), Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), National Reform Party (NRP) and Democratic People's Party (DPP). The rest are, United Ghana Movement (UGM), Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere (EGLE) and Ghana Democratic Republican Party (GDRP).

Article 55 and 56 of the 1992 Constitution and the Political Parties Law, PNDCL 281 provides the main legal framework for the formation and operation of parties in the country.

Some political parties are alleged to have flouted the constitutional provisions and the Political Parties Law (Act 574) with impunity.

These include the disclosure of the type of furniture in use, payment of the salaries of party office personnel, utility bills and other expenditure. The Commission had come out with a checklist to facilitate such inspections at the national, regional and district offices.

The checklist includes the declaration of office facility, date and mode of acquisition and the number of rooms and office equipment.

The political parties are also required to declare contributions by supporters and members in the form of dues or donations either in cash or in kind.

The Law also states that a political party shall submit to the Commission the names, titles and addresses of its officers at the national, regional, district and constituency levels and also at such other levels of organisation as the Commission may direct and the name and address of the auditors.

"Without prejudice to any other penalty prescribed by the Act or any other enactment, where a political party refuses or neglects to comply with the provision or submits a declaration that is false in any material, the Commission may cancel its registration."

These are constitutional and statutory provisions that the parties are required to make available to the Commission for verification.

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