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General News of Sunday, 10 November 2019

Source: 3 News

Party financiers making profits than they’ll make in any business – Dr Akwetey


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Political party financing in Ghana has become a lucrative business for some people, the Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey has said.

“Those who are financing parties today see election as business and the kind of profits they make, they will not make it in any business,” he told Stephen Anti on TV3 Hot Issues Saturday afternoon.

According to the political scientist, the situation is largely the cause of the various procurement infractions in the country as those financed become indebted to the extent that they resort to over invoicing and other crimes.

Institutions which are mandated to check these crimes, he observed, “are ineffective” to carry out their mandate, giving our leaders who are a mixture of lawyers, auditors, engineers, accountants and others to “get things through easily’.

Dr Akwetey explained that because these politicians eventually become indebted to their financiers, they become susceptible to controls.

“…the financiers control our leaders and through our leaders they capture the state,” he stated.

These financiers, he said then “decide” for the leaders “what you do, what you cannot do, what your priorities are”.

“In fact you have party people who have been in positions like managing campaign telling you that the financiers are the bane of this democracy; they are really, really putting our democracy at risk,” he revealed.

He noted Ghana is “the only country, probably in Africa where there is no regulation of campaign financing”, something he said was not good for our democracy.

When asked by the show host whose responsibility it is to check the situation, he responded: “At the moment there is none.”

He noted that many believe it is the work of the Electoral Commission but said the EC has a lot on its plate and “I think if we want them to do all this, then let’s do that but it will require a change of the law in certain part”.

That, he explained, is because in election administration “everything the EC does is regulated by the law”.

He thus underscored the need for reforms for a state institution to be put in place to regulate political financing activities, saying “The state business is regulated by the state authority”.

The EC cant grapple with everything, something he said, the parties agree.

“The parties themselves agree that some regulation is needed but the EC cannot handle”.

For him, Ghana requires a new body to take up that responsibility, saying “Things that fall outside [the EC], you cannot control so you need a new body”.

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