Politicians’ quest to recoup campaign investment dangerous for democracy – CDD

The Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), is worried about political activi­ties that threaten the country’s democracy.

It noted that due to the enor­mous resources pumped into campaigns, many elected leaders tend to prioritise the need to recoup their expenses than the progress, growth and develop­ment of the nation.

“This practice of politicians’ quest to recoup campaign invest­ment can lead to anarchy when ordinary citizens begin to feel marginalised in the progress, growth and development of our nation,” the Centre warned.

The assertions were made when contributing to the topic: ‘The Critical Issue of Transpar­ency and Ethics in a Political Party and Election Campaign Financing in Ghana’ which was estimated that a candidate in a parliamentary contest in Gha­na spends around GH¢350,000 ($60,000) on his or her campaign.

At the presidential level, a can­didate is required to spend signifi­cantly more, with figures ranging from GH¢5 million ($867,000) to GH¢50 million ($8.67 million) or even more.

Dr Kojo Asante, the Director of Advocacy and Policy Engage­ment at CDD, pointed out that the country risked the democracy she had yearned for and established after 30 years into the Fourth Republic which must not be put at risk to their detriment.

According to him, increasingly the people who come into gov­ernment because they needed to recoup their investment through greed and avarice would amass wealth to deprive the people of development and dividends they were supposed to get.

“We actually risk the democ­racy that we have established, we are 30 years into the Fourth Republic and we are putting it at risk, increasingly, the people who come into government because they need to recoup their invest­ment, some of them are greedy and want to amass all the wealth to deprive us of the development and dividends that we are sup­posed to get.

“People will be beginning to ask themselves whywe should continue doing this to ourselves to impoverish our people so we are running out of time and we need to correct these problems,” Dr Asante stated.

He bemoaned that such costs were primarily for advertising, transportation, and paying agents, members, well-wishers, sympathis­ers, faithful and supporters of the party and insisted that some of the expenses were unnecessary.

He cited instances where Members of Parliament (MPs) funded weddings, funerals and some development projects for their constituents, thereby unnec­essarily burdening themselves.

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