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Don’t monetise political party campaigns - Panellists advocate

BY: Vincent Amenuveve
Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, Executive Director, CDD-GHANA -
Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, Executive Director, CDD-GHANA -

Speakers at a roundtable discussion in Accra on the unique composition of the Eighth Parliament have reiterated the need to address the monetisation of political party campaigns.

They noted that the issue, if not effectively addressed, would continue to affect the image and business of the current and future Parliaments.

The challenge of monetisation of political party campaigns, they said, equally had an impact on the quality of people who were elected to represent their constituents in Parliament.

While expressing varied opinions about whether or not the Eighth Parliament had met public expectations, the speakers equally observed that the quality of people elected to represent their constituents in Parliament had over the years dwindled since the inception of the Fourth Republic.

They were speaking at a forum organised by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) on the topic “Expectations versus Reality—Navigating the unique composition of the 8th Parliament".

The speakers were the Executive Director of the CDD-Ghana, Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh; a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini; a former MP for Gomoa West, Alexander Abban, and an International Trade Consultant and Global Politics Enthusiast, Maame Awinador-Kanyirige.

Political Parties Act

Prof Prempeh suggested the need to revisit the Political Parties Act and “actually almost re-write it and create rules to regulate political parties and get an independent regulator and not the Electoral Commission to address the political party financing, internal democracy issues”.

“Political parties have been allowed to hijack our democracy and they are killing it; we need to stand on the provisions made in the Constitution for political parties, including the conduct of their internal affairs and enact stringent laws to regulate their activities," he stressed.

Expectations met

Alhaji Fuseini argued that his expectations were met because the current “Hung” Parliament had proven to the ruling government that it was no longer possible for the executive to have their way as it used to be in the previous Parliaments.

For his part, Mr Abban said the quality of people elected to Parliament and the influence of political parties to field candidates with mass appeal and resources rather than people who had the capacity and competence to be in Parliament were issues that should be looked at.

“Money is becoming the biggest factor in electing people to Parliament; without consideration for the core parliamentary business of law making,” he stated.

Education

Ms Awinador-Kanyirige called for urgent public education to understand the democratic system while institutionalising the learning of democracy in schools to ensure that people engaged in “deliberative democracy" without political considerations.

She said monetisation of politics in Ghana was because people did not understand the creation of a democratic system.