Assets Declaration For Aspirants Unnecessary Political Scientist

A Political Scientist and Former Governance Adviser to the United Nations, Prof. Baffour Agyeman Duah, is questioning the relevance of the Electoral Commission’s directive for presidential and parliamentary aspirants in the December elections to declare their assets before being deemed eligible to contest.

According to him, even though it is in the public interest for aspirants to declare their assets as a measure of accountability, it must not be a strict requirement.

Some political parties notably the NPP, have said they will defy the asset declaration criteria saying it is unconstitutional.

Prof. Agyeman Duah told Citi News that “there are serious questions that need to be raised by this particular requirement by the Electoral Commission. Anyone who wants to run for a political office will not be a public officer till the person has won and is installed in public office. Therefore, to be asked to comply with that requirement in the constitution may be a little bit stretching of the constitutional requirement.”

He added that, although the directive will help put forward desirable presidential hopefuls, it must be applied without punitive intentions.

“If the idea is to find a way to make sure that those who want to be public figures are clean, we should find the right way but we cannot hide behind what is certainly not legal to make it legal for them to comply, he added.”

‘Declare assets or lose your candidature’

Ahead of the deadline for the submission of nomination forms, on Friday 30th September, the Electoral Commission said cautioned presidential and parliamentary nominees they will not be eligible to contest the elections if they do not declare their assets with the Auditor General.

The EC in a statement said the “candidates are to take note of the requirement to declare their assets to the Auditor-General in order to meet the eligibility criteria.”

Assets declaration illegal – NPP

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), kicked against the demand by the EC, saying it is unconstitutional.

The General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu on Eyewithness News, said although the NPP’s candidate will readily declare his assets, the law as it stands, only binds those already holding public office, and not those seeking to be office.

‘Dr. Nduom declares asset’

So far, only the Flagbearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has come out publicly to confirm the declaration of his assets to the Auditor General.