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Parties without district offices to lose certificates

The Electoral Commission has warned it will withdraw certificates of political parties without district offices by the end of May.

The chairman of the Convention People’s Party Dr. Edmund Delle who disclosed this at a stakeholders meeting in Accra Wednesday said he was amazed to discover that some of the smaller parties agree with the directive of the EC.

“They have indicated to us that parties without offices in the districts, they are going to take a very serious look at it. And so this is a threat and I am surprised that some of the smaller parties too were emphatic that this law should be enforced. And if it is enforced, maybe within the next fourteen days, some of us won’t be here,” he said.

He concluded: “I think that this is one of the important things to tackle now and act as a group. Otherwise, these days somebody goes to court and the court passes a law and we are finished”.

Meanwhile, governance expert Dr. Kwesi Jonah says the EC has no right to suspend political parties simply because they have no district offices.

“Nowhere in the constitution and nowhere in the law does it say offices; it says organise and in these days of technology, you could organise everywhere without being physically present. Moreover, it is the registration that matters, so once you are registered, finished.

“Everywhere in the world, all democracies have bigger parties and smaller parties and they all have their unique roles they play for the democracy to grow,” Jonah told the gathering.

According to the EC laws governing the registration of political parties in Ghana, all parties must have district offices in order to reflect their regional representation and balance.

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