A study by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has revealed that at least nine individuals engaged in “galamsey” and fraud funded political parties during the 2020 elections.
The study also shows that three major financiers of political parties in Ghana are chiefs in the Eastern Region.
The newly published report from the CDD-Ghana study, Rising Cost of Politics in Ghana Attracting Illicit Funding from Organised Crime, also finds that it costs US$100 million to fund a presidential campaign in Ghana effectively.
The study, which was conducted in all the 16 regions of Ghana, also showed that it takes candidates at least US$693,000, the equivalent of GHC4 million, to prosecute a parliamentary campaign.
“Nine financiers were found to be involved in illicit and serious and organised crime (SOC)-related activities,” said a synopsis of the report. “The SOC activities identified include illegal mining/galamsey (seven financiers); illegal oil bunkering (one financier); and alleged fraudulent business (one financier).
“… Ten of the financiers are engaged in the procurement of works (construction of roads and buildings) and three of the major financiers are chiefs in the Eastern Region,” it also said.
Money infesting politics
Stakeholders in Ghanaian politics, including MPs, revealed in the study that aspirants running for political office must have spent heavily in their constituencies over at least the previous three years to stand a chance of winning office.
According to the study, “the rising cost of running for political office and the amount of money candidates must raise to contest elections at the constituency level and run as a parliamentary candidate is directly linked to both demand-driven and supply-side corruption, creating interdependencies.”
“… On the demand-driven corruption side, party officials and delegates at the constituency level expect and/or are given money and items of value to influence the election of a parliamentary aspirant. This demand-driven corruption at the party primaries increases during the national parliamentary election.”
The report also says that filing fees at both the party level and with the Electoral Commission increased by 500% between 2000 and 2020, contributing to the high cost of politics in the country.