Politics of 2014-02-20

District Assembly elections postponed indefinitely

Lack of money for district level elections means the exercise which is 8 months away will be postponed indefinitely.

"Even though we had intended to do the elections in October, now it will be impossible, it indicates the importance of timely release of funds", Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, said.

According to the 1994 District Assembly Elections Act 473, "elections to a District Assembly shall be held every four years except that District Assembly elections shall be held at least six months apart from parliamentary elections".

But in the wake of funding constraints, Afari-Gyan says he is unclear about when the election will be organized in the 216 Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies.

This lament over the delay of funds is not new. It is an incessant chorus by the Commission about feet-dragging by government in the release of funds. The district assembly election is a non-partisan, grassroot decision-making process to choose representatives and unit committee members.

But voter turnouts in these elections have been progressively low and plagued with organizational challenges.

The last district elections organised in 2010, the Electoral Commission rescheduled the District Assembly elections in 8 out of 10 regions in the country.