THE Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Ghana, Prof Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, says it will be a good idea, if the government can set aside a dedicated fund for the Electoral Commission (EC) to access in case the country needs to go for a run-off.
He said that source of funding could also be used for other contingent activities in the run-up to the December 7 polls, so that the commission would not be totally dependent on the government at every stage of its activities leading to the elections.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic after a colloquium organised by the Coalition of Domestic Observers (CODEO), Prof Gyimah-Boadi said the assurances of the Government to provide all funding needed by the EC at every stage could be depended on by Ghanaians for now.
“For now, we must take the assurances of the government. What we must be concerned with is whether the EC has the resources to do what it has to do now,” he said.
He, however, agreed to the suggestion of a separate funding for a run-off and other activities of the EC because of current global changes in oil and commodity prices that could make the government cash-strapped at the time when the electoral process needed funding for a particular activity.
Prof Gyimah-Boadi said this in response to a statement by the Chairman of the EC, Mr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, that the EC had not been allowed to include a contingency amount of GH¢7 million in its budget.
The General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev Fred Deegbe, also in an interview with the Daily Graphic, was of the view that CODEO would have to discuss the issue further for the way forward.
Meanwhile, according to the Head of Elections, CDD-Ghana and co-ordinator of CODEO, Mr John Larvie, the colloquium was one of the activities being planned by the coalition in the run-up to the elections.
He said other colloquia involving other election stakeholders would be held soon.
Another project to be introduced in a month’s time, he said, was the nation-wide training of media practitioners on basic public policies.
He said that was to enable them to better understand these policies for better interviews involving policy makers and a better analysis of responses by journalists.
“Most times, when you read the article, you find a clear disconnection between the issues raised and the responses in the same article and does not engage readers,” he said.
He said it was in response to the need for media practitioners to be clear of issues for better coverage that the initiative was being planned.
DAILY GRAPHIC, THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2008, PG 47