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EC Chair quizzed over media accreditation cash

General News

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei, was yesterday questioned in Parliament over the total amount of money collected from media representatives who had to pay to secure accreditation for cover the 2016 General Elections.

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei, was yesterday questioned in Parliament over the total amount of money collected from media representatives who had to pay to secure accreditation for cover the 2016 General Elections.

 

Mrs Osei’s appearance was also to explain to Parliament the amount accrued in the replacement for lost and misplaced Voter's ID cards and how those amount had been applied.

The EC chair, who appeared with two of her Deputy Commissioners, Sadiatu Naida and Amadu Sulley, told the Committee that her outfit received a total application of 2,271.

She said, in general, the Commission printed 4,544 cards at a cost of GHC42, 713, with the printers taking GHC 8 and the Commission adding GHC2.00 as Value Added Tax.

On replacement of the Voter's cards, the EC Chairperson told the House that the Commission charged GHC5 for each printed card.

"GHC 2, 590, 080, 47 was realized from the replacement of the replacement of the lost cards", she said.

Mrs Osei indicated that the monies that were generated from the exercise were all sitting at the Ghana Commercial Bank account of the EC.

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, sought to enquire why the EC did not capture the accrued amount of the exercise in its 2017 budget, as it was an Internally Generated Fund. The EC chairperson responded it was an oversight.

The majority leaders's question and the subsequent answer from the EC chairperson did not go down well especially with the majority side of the House, drawing most members to their feet as they wanted to catch the eye of the Chairman of the Committee of the Whole, Joseph Osei Owusu, to probe further.

The Majority Leader who was not enthused about the answer by the EC Chair drew her attention to the fact that she should have asked for a period to come clean on the matter by consulting other persons who were directly involved in the matter.

Asked why the Commission charged journalists who were legally mandated to carry their responsibilities in the coverage of the election, she said the commission arrived at a conclusion that both local and foreign reporters pay some amount to enable the EC meet some of the cost in undertaking the exercise.

"We did charge local and foreign media. The answer is yes", EC chairperson mentioned.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, was generally happy about the answers provided by the Commissioner and described it as generally satisfactory.

The statement by the Minority Leader drew some disenchantment from the majority side of the House as they saw the comment to be praise-singing.