Deal with vote-buying in nation’s politics–political parties admonished

Justice Emile Short, a former Commissioner of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has admonished the leadership of political parties, the two major political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to take steps to deal with vote-buying in the nation’s political dispensation.

“Vote-buying is distorting the country’s politics and must be addressed immediately, we have seen many situations where aspirants dish out bags of rice, bags of flour and all kinds of incentives to voters, it is wrong, it is seriously destroying our politics and we need to take a critical look at this practice of vote-buying,” he bemoaned.  

His comment followed the just ended New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary primaries in ‘orphan constituencies’ where there are documented cases of vote-buying including the alleged distribution of vehicles by an aspirant, Elisha Debrah Odoom in the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam Constituency of the Central Region.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of a report on the ‘Right to Information journey in Ghana’, Justice Short stressed that, “I am hoping the leaders of both political parties will make a statement and let their supporters, the aspirants whether parliamentary or presidential know it is wrong to indulge in vote-buying.

“Vote-buying remains a threat to our democracy as it poses serious challenges to free, fair, credible and transparent elections, political dispensation, the legitimacy of political office holders, each election year, in almost every local and institutional elections the issue of vote-buying re-surfaces as it has almost become part of every election in the country.

“Many stakeholders within the political space as well as leaders of civil society organisations have been calling for the need for a systematic monitoring of the issue of vote-buying during campaign periods for the purposes of naming and shaming political parties that engage in the practice in order to reduce or cure the canker,” Justice Short lamented.

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