A Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Kwesi Jonah, has advocated for legislation to seal spending of political parties especially presidential candidates.
This would reduce political incumbency advantage as parties appropriate public resources to fund their political activities since their sources of funding are unknown and undisclosed.
He described the situation as a drawback to corruption fight with the existence of political party financiers, who seek to recoup financial investments made in political parties before, during and after electioneering campaigns.
He made the remarks at the eighth Annual Sandwich Conference organized by the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Anthropology of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) on Thursday.
It was on the theme: “Paving the way for a peaceful, free and fair election 2020: The role of the state and non-state actors”.
Mr Jonah said other laws on political party funding, sourcing and disbursement must be enforced rigorously as a way of helping improve on citizens’ understandings of electoral politics in the country.
Touching on some draw backs to Ghana’s democratic gains, he condemned the practice of the ‘Winner Takes All’ system of governance in the country, saying “the continuity of such governance practice remained a threat to the country’s democracy as it will not help Ghana to get to the heights of its development.
Many Ghanaians have condemned the practice and called for an end to the system, so that positions would be given to deserving non-party members who can better promote the national interest.
The continuity of such governance practice, he observed, was a threat to the country’s democracy as it will not help Ghana to get to the heights of its development.
Mr Jonah also underscored the need to end the phenomenon of political party vigilantism for the practice to be tackled “boldly and sincerely”, noting the phenomenon poses a serious national security threat.
The activities of these groups, according to him, include the seizure of the management of public properties such as public toilets, toll booths among others when their parties were in power poses a serious threat to national security.
He called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to ensure the rigid implementation of the country’s electoral laws so that only political parties that can satisfy those laws, will be made to exist.
According to him, the idea of building strong institutions was to have all the rules implemented.
On women empowerment, he stated that the legislative arm of Government had still not been able to reach the 30 percent mark set by the United Nations, as the proportion of women in Ghana’s parliament was still hovering around 10 per cent of the total membership of the House.
He said it was important to empower women to participate in the decision-making process so as to create a balance and charged women to stand-up for their personal values instead of following what others believed in even when it made them uncomfortable.
Speaking on current security issues confronting Ghana and its implications for ensuring a peaceful, free and fair elections in 2020, Col. Festus Aboagye (Rtd), reiterated the need to tame vigilantism to safeguard national peace.
He told the security agencies especially the police to discharge their duties with integrity, professionalism, reliability and uprightness as imperative in establishing public confidence in the security agencies.
“I urge the security agencies to demonstrate integrity in the execution of your duty. I expect them to be outstanding and diligent in their work – Never ever compromise on your integrity and professionalism; for if you lose it, it will be difficult if not impossible to restore it,” he added.