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EC deploys personnel to inspect party offices

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The Electoral Commission (EC) has deployed personnel to inspect the offices of political parties and also check on their activities.

The exercise is scheduled to take place tomorrow in all 10 previously existing regions across the country.

Already, the EC has inspected the National offices of political parties and will continue with the inspection in districts after the regional inspection.

The exercise is backed by the Political Parties’ Act, (Act 574) which insists that all political parties have a nationwide presence, including having offices at the national and regional levels and in two-thirds of districts across the country.

However, there are growing concerns that the EC has been lenient on political parties which are said to show up during elections, only to fold up afterwards. But the EC says it will not relent on its duties henceforth.

Background 

The Political Parties Act, 2000 (Act 574) mandates political parties to have offices at the national and regional levels and at least in two-thirds of the districts in the country.

However, a 2015 report by the EC showed that out of the 23 political parties that had registered with the commission, only the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) met the physical presence requirement in at least 144 of the 216 districts.

The report cited the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC), the National Democratic Party (NDP), the National Reform Party (NRP), the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) and other parties as not meeting that requirement.

It said it found a trend where some offices alleged to belong to the parties were not even painted in party colours.

Predictably, the 2015 report said the NDC and the NPP had 195 and 200 district offices, respectively.

Following that report, a number of civil society organisations and governance institutions called on the EC to fully sanction the political parties for non-compliance with Act 574.

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