Majority Leader: Primaries are used to influence delegates

Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Suame Constituency in the Ashanti Region, has decried monetisation in the country’s politics and described it as worrying and alarming. 

“People who come to spend money during primaries of political parties do not do it for free, they use it to influence delegates which hitherto will have voted for a competent person to lead them in parliament.

“In as much as parliament needs numbers to legislate laws, the House needs experienced and competent people who will bring their expertise to bear on issues that will benefit the people who voted for them,” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs stressed.

Members of Parliament (MPs) on Monday debated passionately about the issue of vote-buying at parliamentary primaries and elections at the national level that was after the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Kumbungu Constituency in the Northern Region, Ras Mubarak, raised the issue in a statement made on the floor of Parliament.

According to the MP, who lost the parliamentary primary in his constituency in the Northern Region, “there should be ‘fast-tracked’ legislation by parliament to outlaw all forms of inducement that will have a direct effect on voting in any election.

“The issue of offering of gifts should also be put in the right perspective because the Internal Revenue Act 529 stipulates that the citizenry to pay 15 per cent gift tax on any gift valued at GH¢50 or above.

How many of us can hold our heads up and say we have complied with the provision in the Act or how many of our constituents who have received bicycles, motorbikes, mobile phones, television sets, clothes, gas cylinders, and other household items can say they have to pay the necessary taxes on such gifts?” Mr Mubarak queried.

However, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu pointed out that “it is about time various political parties address the issue because there is no free lunch anywhere in the world, as a country, we may not see its rippling effect now but its consequences will be dire and may affect the socio-economic growth and development of the country.”peacefmonline.com

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