CDD: Monitisation of politics breeding ‘political godfathers’

Dr. Kojo Asante

Dr. Kojo Asante

A Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Dr. Kojo Asante, has expressed fear that the worsening monetisation of politics will breed ‘godfathers’ who will directly or indirectly govern the country.

This is because they can afford to induce voters or sponsor other politicians to gain power with money.

Dr. Asante cautioned that the phenomenon was deepening because it had been left to fester for more than a decade.

He said the practice further deepens corruption in politics, and could destroy the country’s democratic gains if not checked.

“This thing [monetisation] is not sustainable, the number of candidates who stood for the 2016 elections was almost a 1,000 but only 275 got elected.

“If they are all spending this amount of money, taking loans and personal savings and so on, at every election if you add those monies together, there is a lot of people taking a huge risk and fall into debt.

“We increasingly are monetising the politics, citizens are feeding into it, politicians are responding to that demand and it is escalating every year.

“You can’t sustain it because where are you going to get the money from, it is the big people who have money that begin to control politics because everybody is going to them and we are getting close to getting godfathers in politics.

“The decision to increase electoral colleges so as to minimise the incident of vote buying and voter inducement in internal party elections, has not achieved much success as political actors have devised new ways of inducing electorates.

“Such practices hinder the growth of democracy in the country since it is not sustainable because politicians have made it possible for electorates to make material demands of them,  they always strive to meet the demands, despite some of them are led into serious debts.”

Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, confirmed that politicians often incentivise electorates with materials and money which had become inherent in the country’s politics.

While discounting claims that party delegates request for bribes to vote for a specific candidate, he insisted that politicians seeking power often deemed it appropriate to support them.
A research, conducted by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), in February 2018, revealed that at least it will cost a Member of Parliament US$86,000 to secure a party’s primary nomination to compete in parliamentary election. –

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