‘Cost of politics, cause for citizenry to worry’

Benjamin Akakpo, a media practitioner, has stated that every political party has the ultimate aim of assuming the reins of power and carrying out its policies to shape the country in which it is established.

He observed that the challenge, though, for political parties in developing countries like Ghana, was the way resources are mobilised tend to undercut the party’s role in consolidating democracy, good governance and delivering development.

“Due to lack of checks and balances in our system, political parties have had a field day, using dubious avenues to raise funds and thus, compromise their work when they come to power.

“We talk about vigilantism and political party militia groups but an even bigger danger, perhaps, is how political parties are funded in the country, if a drug baron, for example, were to be funding a political party, can you imagine just how dire the consequences can be for us all as a result of that?

 “If a terrorist group decide to infiltrate our politics with money, if our political parties, greedy as their leaderships tend to be, took their bait, will that not be the perfect recipe for disaster? Will we not have been sold out to the highest bidder?

Quoting portions of the 1992 Constitution to buttress his assertion, Mr Akakpo noted that As per Article 55 (14) of the 1992 Constitution, “political parties shall be required by law to declare to the public their revenues and assets and the sources of those revenues and assets; and to publish to the public annually their audited accounts.”

Article 55 (15) adds that “only a citizen of Ghana may make a contribution or donation to a political party registered in Ghana,” and questioned whether “we see our political parties abiding by the laws, insufficient as they are in regulating political party funding

“Our constitution appears to have nothing concrete, in terms of regulation and enforceability, on political parties and their spending, how they raise funds, oil the machine of their campaigns, and run their general businesses.

“According to survey data and study reports, political parties have the highest risk of exposure to corruption. There are still cases of violations related to election funding which shows that the system is not comprehensive enough to handle the issues.

“Various international studies reveal that corruption in political parties is the base of defects in the political system. It has a negative effect on the development of parties and creates a foundation for future corruption,” Mr Akakpo cautioned. –classfmonline.com

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