Ghana has been asked to make a law on campaign expenditure and finance to enhance the overall transparency and accountability of political finance.
The law should establish disclosure requirements of incomes and expenses for parties and candidates, and limits on expenditure and donations, including for in-kind donations.
The European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission to Ghana (EU EOM) made the call on Tuesday when it presented its observations and recommendation on Ghana’s 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections at a press conference.
The Mission returned to Ghana to present a report gathered during the observation of the elections to Ghana’s Authorities and discuss with stakeholders, the proposed reforms contained in it.
It said such a legislation establish effective oversight, sanctions and enforcement mechanisms that include a timely publication of all campaign finance reports, including online.
The EU EOM also asked Ghana to introduce an effective sanctioning mechanism against the misuse of state resources, including administrative and security apparatus during the election period.
It also asked government to provide the National Media Commission (NMC) with sufficient resources to conduct media monitoring and properly oversee the work of the media.
They were also to limit the role of the National Communication Authority to administer broadcasting signals and transfer its licensing and sanctioning powers to the NMC in order to create one sole and completely independent media regulatory authority, in charge of allocating broadcasting licenses, analysing broadcasting contents and dealing with media-related complaints.
The Mission, furthermore, advised that the mandate of the Data Protection Commission be fulfilled in accordance with the Data Protection Act to ensure an effective system of data protection existed not only in law but also in practice.
The Chief Observer said the aforementioned recommendations which were priority areas, asked for improved procedures for counting and collation, and for the publication of detailed results.
He stated that the recommendations were proposals for consideration by Ghanaians, adding that they aimed at improving future electoral processes and strengthening Ghana’s democracy.
However, it was up to the nation’s authorities and wider civil society to decide on their implementation.
Mr Nart said the return visit was the EU EOM’s final activity, and explained that afterwards, the EU Delegation was going to support Ghanaian authorities and civil society in efforts to implement the recommendations.
Following an invitation by Ghanaian authorities, the EU deployed an EU EOM to Ghana between October 31 and December 30, 2020. In total, the Mission comprised 80 observers from EU member states as well as Norway, Switzerland and Canada.
The Mission’s mandate was to assess the electoral process against international obligations and commitments for democratic elections as well as the laws of Ghana.