‘Legislate ceiling for political party spending to check corruption’

Mr Kwesi Jonah, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), has advocated a legislation to seal spending of political parties especially presidential candidates.

This according to him would reduce political incumbency advantage as parties appropriate public resources to fund their political activities since their sources of funding are unknown and undisclosed.

Mr Jonah made the call at the eighth Annual Sandwich Conference organized by the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Anthropology of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) on the theme: “Paving the way for a peaceful, free and fair election 2020: The role of the state and non-state actors”.

He said unlimited spending of funds by political parties was a drawback to fight agains corruption and encouraged the existence of political party financiers, who seek to recoup financial investments made in political parties before, during and after electioneering campaigns.

Mr Jonah said laws on political party funding, sourcing and disbursement must be enforced rigorously as a way of helping improve on citizens’ understandings of electoral politics in the country.

Touching on some draw backs to Ghana’s democratic gains, he condemned the practice of the ‘Winner Takes All’ system of governance in the country, saying “the continuity of such governance practice remained a threat to the country’s democracy as it will not help Ghana to get to the heights of its development.

Mr Jonah said some Ghanaians have called for an end to the system, so that positions would be given to deserving non-party members, who can better promote the national interest.

He underscored the need to end political party vigilantism according to him, include the seizure of the management of public properties such as public toilets, toll booths among others when their parties were in power poses a serious threat to national security.

On women empowerment, he stated that the legislative arm of Government had still not been able to reach the 30 percent mark set by the United Nations, as the proportion of women in Ghana’s parliament was still hovering around 10 per cent of the total membership of the House.

He said it was important to empower women to participate in the decision-making process so as to create a balance and charged women to stand-up for their personal values instead of following what others believed in even when it made them uncomfortable.

Speaking on current security issues confronting Ghana and its implications for ensuring a peaceful, free and fair elections in 2020, Col. Festus Aboagye (Rtd), reiterated the need to tame vigilantism to safeguard national peace.

He asked security agencies, especially the police to discharge their duties with integrity, professionalism, reliability and uprightness as imperative in establishing public confidence in the security agencies.

“I urge the security agencies to demonstrate integrity in the execution of your duty. I expect them to be outstanding and diligent in their work – Never ever compromise on your integrity and professionalism; for if you lose it, it will be difficult if not impossible to restore it,” he added. – GNA

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