EC's Assets Declaration Demand "Unconstitutional" - Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

NPP Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West, Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful says that the Electoral Commission's (EC) admonition to nominees to declare their assets before they can meet the eligibility criteria as "unconstitutional".

According to her, the EC cannot make it a legal requirement that all nominees should declare their assets.

Her reason is that some nominees are not public officials and so, are not obliged by the laws of the country to declare their assets.

Ahead of the deadline for the submission of nomination forms on Friday, September 30; the EC in a statement has asked all candidates to "to take note of the requirement to declare their assets to the Auditor-General in order to meet the eligibility criteria.”

The nominees are also to ensure that they have met the tax obligations in full before their forms will be authenticated by the Commission.

"Candidates are to take note of the requirement under law to ensure that their tax obligations are met in full or the need to make satisfactory arrangements in respect of tax obligations with the appropriate Authority," the statement further read.

Responding to the EC's requirements, Hon. Owusu-Ekuful explained that only public officials are mandated by the law to declare their assets and so wondered why the Commission would generalize their directive.

To her, asking nominees who are teachers, business magnates or farmers and so forth to declare their assets is an invitation for them to lie.

“That’s not legal. It’s unconstitutional. So, any person who knows he/she is not a public official and goes to declare your asset; you will be lying. Because the law states that unless you’re a public official in the eyes of the constitution or the Asset Declaration Law before you can declare your asset. If you tell a teacher, a businessman or a farmer to declare his/her assets, you’re asking the person to tell a lie because he/she is not a public official to declare his/her assets.”

Hon. Owusu-Ekuful also stated emphatically that she will provide evidence to the Commission to substantiate that she has declared her assets but added that the EC should not be looking forward for receipts because she is not obliged to show receipts as a proof for her asset declaration.