EC submits 2016 Election Budget; Finance Ministry tight lipped over cost

The Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) has presented an undisclosed amount to the Ministry of Finance as its budget for the 2016 general elections, Director of Budget, at the Finance Ministry, Patrick Nomo, has revealed.

According to him, the Ministry is still in talks with the EC to ensure that the country does not incure election budget overruns as happened in previous elections including the 2012 general elections.

Mr. Nomo told journalists made up of the Parliamenatary Press Corps (PPC) and Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) at a post budget workshop Monday that the government is fully committed to the fiscal program it has committed itself into with the IMF and will therefore ensure than spending is within what it has budgeted for.

Ghana has over the years suffered budget overruns, especially, in election years. However with an IMF program covering 2016, a high level of fiscal discipline is required to ensure that the country remains on track towards economic recovery.

Finance Minsiter, Seth Terkper, delivering the 2016 Budget assured Parliament that the country will do its utmost best to resist the temptation of election year overspending in order to safeguard the gains made by the economy.

“The President has assured of sustaining fiscal discipline despite 2016 being an election year. Whilst investing prudently in infrastructure development, we will resist the temptation of election year overspending,” he told a half full Parliament which was presided over by Speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho.

However, Mr. Nomo together with the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, have remained tight lipped over the cost of the budget estimates presented by the Electoral Commission of Ghana.

They also declined to comment on whether the budget estimates presented by the EC factored in the cost of a new voters register as well as cost of a run off in the event that none of the presidential candidates polled the required 50% plus one vote to win by “onetouch”.