Joseph Osei-Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament has suggested to the government to consider funding political parties in Ghana to end the monetisation of politics.
According to him, this initiative will help the government to track monies pumped into elections in the country.
Osei-Owusu said the numerous calls to have legislation that will control and support individuals’ bid to run for office have proven futile leading to illicit financial flows through Ghana’s electoral process.
“Look at our constitution, the cost of running an election is borne by the individual. So, how I raised money to run my campaign, nobody asks me. Nobody finds out from me, how much it cost me to contest the last election. How did I raise the money? Nobody finds about that from me,” Osei-Owusu said on Asaase Radio’s The Big Bulletin on Monday (7 February).
“…If the state is so keen, why doesn’t the state fund it so that it can control the expenditure? Anytime that matter comes up, they say ‘shut up, that’s in our nature’. We want the best for everything but somebody must pay for it. Sometimes the somebody else is not as clean as we perceive them to be.
“…The ministry of parliamentary affairs has run so many workshops on the dangers of monetisation of our politics but frankly, do the people who control the system, do they care?” he asked.
Speaking to Beatrice Adu, Osei-Owusu said the country must deal with the dishonest nature of Ghanaians to enable the system to tackle the root cause of monetising Ghana’s politics.
“I am elected by a group of people down there; do they care about how I get money? Should I go and tell them that as for me, ‘I’m clean, I don’t have money, will you vote for me irrespective of anything else you have.’ Sometimes I wonder whether Ghanaians, we are true to ourselves.
“…NGOs and things, we should be true to ourselves. The truth of the matter is, we are failing to deal with this, we are dishonest people, we should deal with that problem. The level of dishonesty in our country is way too much. The point I’m making is that we have to deal with the roots. The problem (monetisation of politics) has roots. And the root is in the integrity deficit we have as a people,” the MP for Bekwai constituency said.
Rising Cost of Politics in Ghana
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.
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.