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Lack of patriotism eroding nat’l cohesion — Rev Prof Asante

Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, the Chairman of the National Peace Council, has observed that the syndrome of monetisation in politics has resulted in the lack of patriotism, the state capture phenomenon, which has robbed the nation of its hard-won reputation of peace, national cohesion and development.

He explained that “there are many people with brilliant ideas and with the good heart to serve the country, but due to their inability to dole out money, they fail to go through the initial stages within their political parties”.

Rev Prof Asante made the observation at a day’s national stakeholders’ consultation on monetisation of politics organised by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs in Accra, held on the theme: ‘Money, influence, corruption and capture – Can Ghana’s democracy be safeguarded?’

The forum is expected to help provide appropriate recommendations to curb monetisation in politics, and also encourage national discourse on monetisation in politics and come out with measures to curtail concern.

Rev Prof Asante bemoaned the situation where monetisation of politics continue to deny well qualified persons from seeking political office, and described monetisation in politics as worrying and a disturbing trend saying, “It is also breeding corruption, making politics expensive and this has partially contributed to surge of political vigilantism.”

Dr Evans Aggrey-Darkoh, Chief Director of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, said monetisation in politics was a grave concern to all democracy-enhancing institutions and individuals, adding that, “We recognise immense contribution of political parties to democratic dispensation, but also we recognise monetisation in politics, which has encouraged elite control, corruption and violence, has dire consequences for sustenance of democracy.”

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader, indicated that “if care is not taken, political position will rest on only the rich in society to the detriment of competence-based approach, which will affect core values of democratic governance, inter-parliamentary union has called on Parliament to ensure by 2025, women in its membership will constitute 30 per cent.

“The winner-takes-all system ‘guarantees a do or die’ attitude during political elections and it is imperative for all to be concerned and help address the situation,” he cautioned.

 Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, called for concerted efforts to discuss issues dispassionately, devoid of political affiliation. There are growing concerns of public confidence in elected candidates, acts of vigilantism, inability of elected political elites to discharge duties in parliament, and needed attention to safeguard democracy. –GNA

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