The Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD-Ghana) has encouraged the citizenry and the State to demand accountability and transparency from political parties on their campaign expenditure to deepen democratic processes and stability.
It explained that politicians spent huge sums on their campaigns during general election and the practice was crucial and had serious implications in strengthening democratic governance.
Professor Kwesi Prempeh, the Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, gave the encouragement at a national dialogue on political party campaign finance reforms in Ghana, organised by CDD-Ghana in collaboration with Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) in Tamale in the Northern Region.
It funded by STAR Ghana Foundation to foster dialogue among stakeholders on issues related to campaign finance and cost of elections borne by political parties and engage the citizenry and relevant actors in confronting the challenge.
According to Prof Prempeh, “where and how campaign funds are raised and spent by political parties can influence intra-party activities, national political votes, influence both economic and development choices and policies beyond elections.
“It is time for the citizenry to question politicians on how their campaign finance are generated to enhance response against corruption and end rising tension of violence in conduct of general election.
“Beyond general recognition of corruption as manifestation of campaign financing arrangements, there is need to equally interrogate fundamental systemic and socio-cultural conditions that make our democracy susceptible to growing influence of money.
“Uncontrolled political fund-raising and spending during general election undermined citizenry trust in both political processes and the government which must be examined,” Prof Prempeh pointed out.
Alhaji Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu, the Executive Director of STAR Ghana Foundation, indicated that it was important for voters to know sources of funds politicians or parties use for their campaigns to help the citizenry appreciate better, agenda which candidates or parties are likely to pursue and inform voters in their choice of suitable candidates as their leaders.
Alhaji Abdul-Razak Saani, Northern Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), urged members of the public to insist on accountability, transparency and access to political financial information from political parties and politicians to reduce corruption in electoral processes.
Some of the political parties suggested fairness in the use of state resources by all registered political parties, fair access to state resources and manifestos should be in line with national growth and development plan. -GNA