Political parties admonished to expand electoral colleges to mitigate vote-buying

Kwabena Aborampah Mensah, Senior Programmes Officer at the Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD-Ghana), has proffered that for the nation to mitigate the phenomenon of vote-buying in the various electoral processes, certain drastic measures would have to be taken, including expanding the various electoral colleges.

He explained that  the move would make it extremely difficult for aspirants to pay their way through the electoral processes and expanding the college would also increase the cost of politics as research had established.

The concerns come on the back of allegations of vote-buying amid a report by Corruption Watch which seems to corroborate same.

“In every election, candidates spend around 90,000 dollars in getting their way through from primaries to the actual contest in the elections even though and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC)  had recently expanded their electoral colleges, it had not significantly reduced the phenomenon,” Mr Aborampah admitted.

He indicated that because other measures would have to be put in place to ensure that aspirants spend less during the electoral processes, and the law in that regard could be a great measure.

“The law, yes, we can think about the best practices from other countries to see, I was discussing with Ambassador FrancisTsigah who is a retired diplomat working with us, and he stated in other jurisdictions they had a period at which you could hold a contest.

“On the national level, presidential and parliamentary elections, they can reduce the months that people can actually be campaigning so as to reduce the number of days they will go to the field to increase their cost, they can also reduce even the number of posters, I think the NDC tried that in their last primaries that people were limited as to how many posters they can have.

“In the absence of effective and efficient  enforcement mechanisms, all these measures put in place will prove futile if we have all these things and we don’t have enforcement mechanisms that go with sanctions, they will be null,” Mr Aborampah cautioned. -myjoyonline.com

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