General News of Friday, 2 November 2012
President John Mahama and other officials of the ruling National Democratic Congress have been cited for abuse of incumbency in a report released jointly by three civil society groups - Ghana Integrity Initiative, the Centre for Democratic Development and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition.
The report indicates in part that president Mahama used the Thank You Tour of the regions after the death of President Atta Mills to campaign.
The report stated that “On 17th July, 2012, our observer in Cape Coast in the Central region reported that, H.E President John Dramani Mahama during the state sponsored “Thank You Tour” of Cape Coast following the death and burial of the late President used the platform to urge the people of Cape Coast to elect him to continue the ‘Better Ghana agenda’.”
The report also cites the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo of vote buying during one of his campaign tours to the Upper East Region where motor bike riders were allowed to draw fuel from a filling station for free.
Since May 1, 2012, GII, CDD-Ghana and GACC assisted by trained observers have been monitoring abuse of incumbency in the period leading to Ghana’s up-coming 2012 elections.
The aim of the exercise is to monitor and expose the extent of both the occurrence and variety, of abuse of incumbency and pre-election political party corruption in Ghana, as a tool for promoting clean and fair elections in the upcoming 2012 elections.
Specifically, the project tracks the abuse of institutional resources, budget resources and state media resources by the ruling party, sitting members of parliament and other government appointees; as well as monitor electoral corruption.
Meanwhile, the report said, NDC and NPP Parliamentary aspirants for the Abuakwa North Constituency seat also engaged in acts that could undermine the integrity of the upcoming elections.
According to a report by the Ghana Integrity Initiative, Eastern Regional Minister Victor Smith and the NPPs J.B Danquah both contesting the Abuakwa North seat are culpable of vote buying activities that could corrupt voters.
The report which monitors abuse of incumbency in Ghana’s 2012 Elections found Victor Smith to have donated motorbikes with his initials written on them to some people in and around the Abuakwa North constituency while JB Danquah tiled the floor and replaced Louvre blades of the old Tafo Presbyterian church.
Programme Manager at the Ghana Integrity Initiative Linda Ofori-Kwafo says such acts make the practice of democracy expensive.