A Civil Society Organisation (CSO) dedicated to the cause of good governance, social justice and social accountability is demanding the annual audited accounts, assets and revenues of all 24 registered political parties from the Electoral Commission (EC).
The group, Citizen Ghana Movement (CGM), explained that the demand for the information on the country’s registered political parties was in line with the group’s “push for more transparency in the body politic of Ghana”.
Their demand included the returns containing the statement of accounts, source of funding, membership dues paid, contributions or donations in cash or in kind, properties and their time of acquisition and audited accounts of all registered political parties, which were filed on the 1st of June, 2016, in pursuant to Section 21(1) of the Political Parties Act.
Once it had served notice to the EC, the group stated that it would not hesitate to take legal action against the election management body should it fail to furnish it with copies of the annual audited accounts, assets and revenues of all 24 registered political parties.
In a statement, the CGM stated that on March 30, 2017 it wrote to the EC to demand the documents in pursuant to Article 55(14) of the 1992 Constitution, as well as Section 14 of the Political Parties Act.
The Political Parties Act states that “Political parties shall be required by law to declare to the public their revenues and assets and the sources of those revenues and assets; and to publish to the public annually their audited accounts.”
In a statement issued last Tuesday, the CGM stated; “We at CGM consider this move as critical in the overall fight against corruption.”
“The opaque political party finance system is at the heart of the complex of political patronage and allows some people to be awarded fraudulent contracts as repayments for their campaign contributions,” the statement added.
It said the group was hopeful that the EC would respect their constitutional right to information and accordingly provide them with the information as requested.
“We shall, however, not hesitate to proceed to the court of law to enforce this right should the Electoral Commission fail to grant our request,” it warned.
Letter to the EC
The letter to the EC, according to the organisation, was the first in a series of actions the CGM intended to take this year to push for more transparency in the body politic of Ghana.
In the letter, Lolan Ekow Sagoe-Moses, a member of the CGM and lead applicant in the Right to Information Case, demanded the statements of assets and liabilities submitted by all registered political parties on November 4, 2016 pursuant to Section 14(1) of the Political Parties Act.