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No Cash For District Assembly Elections   
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The Districts Assembly and unit committee elections have been slated for Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

The assembly elections, with the exception of that of Lower Manya Krobo, which was supposed to have come off last year, face several constraints, including financial problems and so could not be held.

Though the Electoral Commission (EC) has given a new date for the elections and has subsequently given the printing of ballot papers on contract, it was yet to receive funds for the printing and other expenditures.

This was disclosed by the Deputy Commissioner in-charge of administration and finance, Georgina Opoku-Amankwaa.

She was speaking at a two-day workshop held by the commission under the auspices of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for journalists.

The workshop was held under the theme, “Improving the quality of information in the electoral process.”

She said the commission was financially handicapped, adding that if money was not released by the government, then the elections might not be held as scheduled. The deputy commissioner suggested that the EC must be catered for separately in the national budget or a special fund (electoral fund) as in Nigeria and other parts of Africa, is set apart for its activities.

She said that would make the EC more resourceful and innovative.

Ms Opoku-Amankwaa also urged the media to encourage women who are contesting elections by giving them the needed attention to push them to win the elections.

She said the current number of women in parliament and the municipal, metropolitan and district assemblies (MMDCEs) was woefully inadequate.

Opoku-Amankwaa said that was reflective in the kind of laws enacted by parliament and where projects are cited in communities.

She explained that women, when deeply involved in politics especially at the local level, they are able to agitate for the promulgation of laws and lobby for projects which would benefit the larger society.

Out of 19,529 candidates contesting the elections, 4,379 – representing 22.4 percent – are women while 15,148 – representing 77.6 percent – are men.

Ms. Opoku-Amankwaa noted that the figure might reduce by voting day since it was likely that some people  would withdraw from the contest.

She said the law which the assemblies draw their powers from should be looked at again as even though assembly members were supposed to be bipartisan, most assemblymen and women were politically coloured.

She therefore advised that the district assembly elections must not be politicized.
Source: Daily Guide

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