Ferdinand | PoliticsGhana | March 24 |John Mahama launches Fundraising Platform for 2024
Former President John Mahama has outlined 9 questions regarding financing political parties in Ghana.
The former president was speaking as part of his keynote address during a Public lecture on political financing in Ghana and the launch of the JM 2024 Fundraising platform held at the University for Professional Studies, Accra main Auditorium on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.
Relevance of Political Financing
John Mahama indicated, that as a critical participator in Ghana’s political space since 1996, he can attest to the relevance of ethical campaign financing in Ghana.
He added, that Whereas some political actors have advocated state sponsorship for political
parties, the truth is, Ghana is today, broke.
”Ghana is struggling to secure an IMF programme lest the economy collapses totally by end of March 2023, according to the Minister for Finance. This being the case, Ghana cannot, at the moment, absorb additional expenditure streams.” He said.
”Truth be told, the state already supports political parties in many ways – many political parties have on many occasions had their filing fees returned to them after elections because they attained the minimum threshold of votes. This means the state finances filing fees.” He indicated.
The former p[rsidnet said, Also, in the past, Government has through the Electoral Commission procured and distributed vehicles to political parties in proportion to the share of votes in the immediate past election.
”With the possibility of further state financing shut – at least for now – I aim to re-open the conversation on political party financing in Ghana, with emphasis on needed reforms and regulations to promote transparent and broad-based financing options for parties.” He said.
Financing of Political Parties in Ghana
John Mahama indicated, that specifically, he wants the national discourse to focus on the following key questions, among others:
- How are our political campaigns being financed in Ghana?
- How efficient is the EC’s regulatory oversight?
- Are our political parties playing their role as vehicles for national development?
- On the issue of government funding of political parties, is this feasible?
- Should the EC’s regulatory responsibility for political financing be re-assigned to a separate Statutory body?
- Are citizens in favour of such government funding for political parties?
- Should the Political Parties Act, 200 (Act 574) be reviewed? If so, in what ways?
- How can political parties promote transparent and broad-based financing of their
- How can recent technological advancements assist in this regard?
Political Party Elections
John Mahama however indicated that Ghana has had eight (8) presidential and parliamentary elections since 1992. Three of these elections have led to the peaceful handover of power from the incumbent party to the opposition namely, 2000, 2008 and 2016 elections.
”On the structure of our parties, the NDC and NPP, have maintained quite a good network across the country and this has helped to generate strong interest in party politics among Ghanaians.” He said.
As a result, there has been an average high voter turnout in our presidential and parliamentary elections. For example, the turnout for 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020 were 85%, 73%, 80%,69%, and 79% respectively.
”By peer standards, these are relatively high, and on that score, Ghana’s democratic credentials have been touted as among the best in the sub-region. However, this assessment ignores other aspects of our democracy that have not progressed and are, in fact, impacting negatively on the progress made so far. This is to do with the level of transparency and depth of regulatory oversight on how campaigns are financed in Ghana.” He added.
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Usual Financing of Political Parties
Usually, the normal practice has been that a political party would derive its resources from the regular dues paid by its members; donations by individuals; or special fundraising by the party for specific purposes.
CDD Ghana’s Research on Political Financing
According to the Ghana Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), in recent times, some financing of political campaigns was coming from illegal activities such as illegal miners, oil bunkering businessmen, fraudulent businesses, and procurement dealings in the award of contracts, among others.
‘Their study even reported that there appeared to be a strong association between the financing of political campaigns and organized crime in Ghana. This is worrying! Worrying because it has the potential of mortgaging our governance system to criminals. If that happens, our democracy would be gradually turned into a plutocracy – a country ruled indirectly by a few wealthy individuals.” He indicated.
Click for the full speech of Mr Mahama. HERE
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