Proper regulation of parties should ensure success of district level election-Kwasi Jonah

A Senior Research Fellow of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Kwesi Jonah has suggested proper regulation of the activities of political parties towards the upcoming district level election.

According to him, regulating the political parties in a well-coordinated fashion was central to the success of the election scheduled for December 10, 2019.

Mr Jonah was speaking at a public discussion on the theme: ‘Party-Based Local Governance – European Experience and Ghanaian Transition’ in Accra, on Tuesday.

The event offered an opportunity for discussants to share ideas and how to streamline the European experience into the Ghanaian local governance architecture.

Mr Jonah noted that although the 1992 Constitution had clearly spelt out the functions of political parties, the parties had failed, following weak regulations.

Flowing from that, the IDEG boss stressed on the need to fund activities of the parties which contributed to the country’s democracy, saying, “Allowing parties to participate in local elections will ensure accountability, probity and transparency and serve as an opportunity to deal with corruption at the local level.

“People should not be denied of participating at the local level elections because of the existence of political corruption, but rather increase their participation,” he said.

Professor Andrea Buratti, Department of Law, University of Rome, Italy, observed that local government in constitutional democracies ensured checks and balances, raised the level of accountability, probity and transparency of administrators and allowed the customisation of public services.

He indicated that in most European countries, local government heads were always elected, adding that, “Political parties at the local level feed local politics with issues, programmes and plans, debated at the national level with inspirations and suggestions from the local communities.”

In order to curb institutional instability at the local level, Prof. Buratti advocated proportional representation for the election of the council to allow all political parties with a minimum popular census to be represented in the council.

Professor Roger Buch, Danish School of Media and Journalism, Aarhus, Denmark, said Ghana could address the challenges confronting it, if she built strong institutions.

BY ABEDUWAA LUCY APPIAH AND DANIEL ASANTE

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