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Monetisation of politics undermining democratic culture - Rev. Prof. Asante

BY: Mary Mensah
Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante
Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante

The Chairman of the National Peace Council, Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, has said monetisation of politics is undermining the country’s democratic culture.

He said it had also become a danger to the very survival of Ghana in terms of the future democratic governance in the country.

At a National Stakeholders’ Consultation on Monetisation of Politics in Ghana organised by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs in Accra last Monday, Rev. Prof. Asante said political activities in the country, in the sense of seeking political office, were seriously becoming the monopoly of the highest bidder.

Disturbing trend

That, he said, was a disturbing trend which was making politics in Ghana a very expensive venture for persons who had a good heart to serve the country but lacked the financial muscle to compete.

The Programme was themed: “Money, Influence, Corruption and Capture: Can Ghana’s Democracy Be Safeguarded?”

Prof. Asante said a research conducted by the CDD and the Westminster Foundation found out that “it will cost a member of Parliament $86,000 to secure a party’s primary nomination to compete in a parliamentary election in the country”.

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He said the report further found out that the cost of running for political office in Ghana went up by nearly 60 per cent over one electoral cycle and the trend had dire consequences on Ghana’s ability to sustain her peace and build an inclusive and resilient society.

Breeding corruption

“The unfortunate effects of monetisation of politics in Ghana include breeding corruption in our public sector, denying the country of her best human resources, lack of patriotism and eventually, robbing the country of it’s hard-won gains of peace and development,” Rev. Prof. Asante said.
He said it was time the country took a firm position on the funding of both political parties and political activities.

Winner takes all

For his part, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Majority Leader in Parliament, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said the forum would encourage a national discourse on monetisation in politics and come out with measures to curtail the concern.

The Majority Leader said the Inter-Parliamentary Union had called on Parliament to ensure that by 2025, women in its membership would constitute 30 per cent, adding that the winner-takes-all system “guarantees a do or die” attitude during elections and it was imperative for all to be concerned and help address the situation.

Concerted efforts

The Minority Leader in Parliament, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, called for a concerted effort to discuss the issues dispassionately devoid of political affiliation.