Parliament has given its approval for the Electoral Commission’s GH¢786.9 million budget earmarked for the 2024 general elections.
The decision was reached on Wednesday, December 20, 2023.
Additionally, the House has asked the Ministry of Finance to address the GH¢140.7 million shortfall to ensure the smooth execution of the 2024 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.
The Majority Leader and Chairman of the Special Budget Committee of Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who moved the motion for the budget’s approval, said that the GH¢140.7 million was a crucial part of the EC’s budget, and the Finance Ministry’s allocation of GH¢786.9 million fell short of the EC’s original request.
“The Commission insists that without the GH¢140.7 million, it will be difficult to conduct timeously and in a proper way, the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections as slated for December 2024,” Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said in a news report by myjoyonline.com.
He highlighted key activities the EC planned to undertake, including procuring additional BVDs and BVR, expanding the number of polling stations, recruiting and training electoral officers, replacing resigned staff, upgrading data centers, and purchasing ICT equipment.
The proposed budget request by the EC for the 2024 financial year was GH¢932.03 million. However, the Finance Ministry capped the allocation at GH¢786.9 million, resulting in a shortfall of GH¢140.7 million. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu emphasized the urgency of approving the proposed budget to enable the EC to carry out its critical activities on schedule.
“The Committee is of the view that the activities of the Electoral Commission are time-bound and extremely critical to the stability of the country and therefore, any impediment in the way of the Commission may be costly to the country,” he added.