The outgoing finance Minister Seth Terkper has suggested to the incoming New Patriotic Party government to consider creating a fund for the financing of the next general elections in 2020 ahead of time.
Addressing journalists in Accra he said the inability to set aside funds for electoral purposes is one of the major reasons governments overspend in election years.
“The point I made was that there was no dispensation for the fact that it was an election year compared to last year which wasn’t an election year so the two budgets would be different.”
“May be the lesson will be for the country to make provision of an annual basis through the four years in meeting certain expenditures and setting aside some funds so that we do not load a single year on total expenditure for conducting an election,” he added.
He said since election expenditure was financially intensive he had already forwarded his suggestion to the transition committee for consideration.
Terkper also said that the ‘election fund’ if created will also help finance the district assembly elections that is held every two years.
“May be that will be a better or an improvement to the way we finance our elections. And in between there is the district elections so at least we have two year cycle”.
“We need to plan around these things. This year we planned to do the releases for the election based on the calendar that was prepared right from the beginning of the year, beginning with capital expenditure like the equipment that we saw,” he noted.
The 2016 elections is 35 times what it cost in Ghana 2004 according to figures from Ghana's previous elections.
In 2004, the elections cost 23.5 million cedis while the 2008 elections cost 138 million cedis.
But in 2012, it cost us 515 million cedis; representing a 377 million cedi rise from the 2008 elections which included a run-off.
In 2012, the increase from 138 million cedis to 515 million cedis represented an estimated 273% more money being used for the election.
Looking at figures available, the 2016 elections will cost the country 35 times what it cost us in 2004.
This means the EC is approximating the 2016 election will cost an estimated 60% more than the 2012 election cost the nation. This is expected to increase as the number of electorates increase and mechanisms for elections become more sophisticated.