Speakers at a National Dialogue on political party campaign financing in Ghana have called for clear cut guidelines on such funding. The speakers from Civil Society Organisations, academia, political parties, and some government agencies questioned how political parties generate and spend funds during electioneering.
They noted that the tendency of this enterprise breeding corruption is high, as those in opposition would have to appease their financiers, once they are voted into office. They called for a scope of regulatory reforms and limit the expenditure of political campaigning.
The Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, called for a law to regulate and put a seal on political party funding. In addition, there should be strict implementation.
This is the only way to deal with excessive ways political parties spend money to get into power.
Mr. Domelevo said until the cost of running for political office is reduced significantly, machinations to remove Chief Executives for manipulation of procurement processes will not end.
Mr. Domelevo who was speaking at a national forum on campaign finance reform in Ghana said a different approach that takes into consideration Ghana’s unique political climate must be adopted to stop the practice.
Meanwhile, Lawyer Akoto Ampaw speaking on the same issue said the mischief to political parties financing is in the provision in the constitution which deals with their registration. He said until that provision is dealt with nothing can be done to regulate political party financing.
For some time now, campaign financing has emerged as a crucial issue that has serious implications for consolidating and perfecting Ghana’s democracy. Where and how campaign monies are raised and spent do not only hugely influence Ghana’s intra-party and national political votes, but also have become a tremendous influencer of both economic and development choices and policies beyond elections.
In Ghana, the major political parties, NPP and NDC have been reported to have given gifts to constituents. Some of these gifts have been listed as vehicles, television sets, and sometimes cash. This was evident at the recent parliamentary primaries for election 2020, and the sources of funding are unknown raising questions about who is or are behind a political party or candidate.
Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Professor Kwasi Prempeh said unregulated expenditure in politics is a conduit for crime and corruption.
Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Josephine Nkrumah stated that the earlier political party financing are regulated, the better for the future of Ghana’s democracy.
Ibrahim Tanko Amidu, Executive Director, STAR Ghana Foundation noted that political party financing is a complex issue, which needs a critical solution.
This is the fourth and last in the series of the National Dialogue on Campaign Finance reform in Ghana. It was put together by STAR Ghana Foundation, CDD Ghana, Ghana Integrity Initiative, and other stakeholders.
Story filed by Yvonne Atilego.