Asantehene blames EC for ‘mushroom’ political parties.
Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu the second, says the Electoral Commission should blame itself in part for proliferation of political parties in the country.
He says failure of the commission to fully enforce the Political Parties Law, Act 574, has led to the springing up of groups in the name of parties.
Otumfuo was addressing officials of the Electoral Commission, led by Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, at the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs on Wednesday.
In May 2016, despite warning from the EC to withdraw the licence of political parties that do not meet the requirement of the Political Parties Law, Act 574 of 2000, the EC backed down.
Section 9 of the Political Parties Law, Act 574 of 2000 requires political parties to ensure they have branches in all ten regions.
They are also required to organize itself in not less than two-thirds of all 216 districts.
Section 9 (c) reads, “the Commission shall not register any political party unless the party has branches in all the regions and is, in addition organized in not less than two-thirds of the districts in each region”.
According to a 2013 report of the EC, out of the 23 registered political parties, only the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) met the physical presence requirement.
About 22 political parties and individuals picked up forms to contest for the Presidency this year alone.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu reminded the Electoral Commission to be mindful of the need to enforce that section of the law to bring sanity.
He also wants the EC to hold political parties to provision on submission of audited accounts to the commission.
Otumfuo’s assertion the EC is the cause of proliferation of [mushroom] political parties drew much laughter in the auditorium.
His admonition is the EC should hasten slowly to register and approve every political party only after satisfy itself all requirements under the Political Parties Law Act 574 are met.