Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
THE Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, has stated that the government has no intention whatsoever of interfering in the work of the Electoral Commission (EC).
“Our responsibility under the Constitution is not to direct the EC on how to conduct the elections but provide the resources for the EC to organise the elections”, he said.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Asamoah-Boateng said it was important that political parties leave the EC to perform its constitutional duties in order to ensure a level playing field for the elections.
He noted that a level playing field was crucial to ensuring free, fair and transparent elections which every Ghanaian was crying for.
Mr Asamoah-Boateng expressed regret at the way the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) was persistently accusing the government of failing to meet the budget of the EC, when the facts on the ground were the opposite.
The minister noted that President Kufuor, in his May Day address, stated clearly that the government had met its financial commitments towards the elections and was even ready to take care of additional reasonable budgetary demands of the commission.
“We have to believe what the President said, instead of painting the picture as if government is not committed to providing the needed resources for the commission,” he said.
He stated that it was the same opposition which would turn round to accuse the government of interfering in the work of the EC if government strayed into the operational area of the commission.
Mr Asamoah-Boateng indicated that, Ghana’s EC had been acclaimed to be one of the best on the continent and it was important that the people support the commission to deliver in the upcoming elections.
He said persistent criticisms of government towards the elections had the tendency to drawing back the democratic process.
He said on assumption of office, the President and his government pledged to remain committed to upholding democracy in the country and so far the results had been positive.
“That is the surest way we can advance our development agenda as a nation,” he said.