Members of the Council of State have urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to
explore ways of ensuring that only the vibrant political parties remain on the
Commission’s registry.

Unanimously, they
said the majority of the parties were dormant and did not have representation
in the form of offices at the local level and recommended the need to undertake
a cleanup exercise in the confines of the law to strike out the inactive
parties.

These suggestions
were made on Thursday when Mrs Jean Mensa, the Chairperson of the Electoral
Commission, led a team of Commissioners of the EC to pay a courtesy call on the
Council of State in Accra.

Among the team were
her two deputies – Mr Samuel Tettey, Deputy Chairman in-charge of Operations,
and Dr Bossman Eric Asare, Deputy Chairman in-charge of Corporate Services.

The visit formed
part of EC’s efforts to explain its operations and bring the Commission closer
to the citizenry.

The visit was also
to help the Commission to know at first-hand the concerns and issues of key
stakeholders, regarding the Commission and its operations.

Nana Otuo Siriboe
II, Chairman of the Council of State said, “There are regulations that govern
political parties and if they are not conforming to the rules, then, their
license needs to be revoked.”

He called on the EC
to tighten up the process of political party license acquisition to ensure that
only serious parties acquired the right.

“The laws make it
easy for people to acquire political party license but if the process is
reviewed and made robust, only the qualified ones will get the permit.”

Nana Siriboe II
commended the EC for undertaking institutional reforms especially in the area
of procurement adding that, paying attention to issues of procurement would
enhance its operations.

He appealed to the
Commission to conduct an inquiry to find out the causes of spoilt ballots and
put in place measures to address the issue.

“Over the years,
spoilt ballots have been increasing exponentially. The number is huge to the
extent that it has been tagged the third political party. It is costing the
country so much money especially in 2008 due to the spoilt ballots there was a
runoff. It would not have happened if the spoilt ballots were less,” he added.

He advised the
Commissioners to be united, work together as a team and take bold decisions to
ensure transparent and credible elections.

“We will act as a
‘big brother’ and support your operations to be successful because your
position is crucial to the peace and development of the country,” Nana Siriboe
II noted.

He counseled the EC
not to be demoralized by negative comments by some people and urged them to
remain steadfast and bold to work diligently to protect their integrity.

Mrs Mensa gave an
account of the various activities undertaken since their assumption 10 months
ago and said as a result of a lesson learnt in the Ayawaso West Wogon
by-election, the commission had provided security at registration centres for
the first time.

Other interventions
to be taken to secure polling station would include comprehensive training of
security officials who would man the centres.

She reiterated that
the Commission was poised to run an open door policy and would give a level
playing field to all political parties to ensure credible, transparent, free
and fair elections.

She briefed the
members about the commencement of processes to build a strong administrative
governance structure to correct lapses at the EC.

Source: GNA