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General News of Tuesday, 2 October 2018


Political Parties should be liberated from direct private funding – Kpessa-Whyte

The over reliance of political parties on private funding is an impediment to equitable access to the political processes in the country, a Lecturer at the Institute of African Studies of the University of Ghana has posited.

Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte was of the view that political leaders who depend largely on private investors to support their electioneering campaigns will only put unnecessary pressures on them when their party comes into power.

He further explained that the party would have to repay these private funders through awarding of some “fictitious” contracts or engage in “corrupt acts to mobilize public funds in order to pay back their financiers when given the chance.”

He stated the implication of such unscrupulous activities pose adverse implications for political leadership in Ghana and the health of democracy especially with the virtual absence of public funding.

“The current arrangements of relying almost exclusively on private funding for political activities and parties has created a perception of politics as an enterprise of ‘dirty deal making’ portraying politicians and other persons who accept public service as corrupt individuals,” Dr Kpessa-Whyte indicated.

He added that, “This perception has the real danger of making otherwise honest and decent citizens whose expertise and experiences the nation may need to shy away from politics and public service.”

The Lecturer, therefore, recommended that political parties must be liberated from the clutches of direct private funding and reposition them in a manner that allows the political parties to be committed to the production of innovative and creative ideas for building the country.

According to Dr. Kpessa-Whyte, “the state must take over the responsibility of funding political parties and this must not be seen to preclude contribution from private businesses for as long as the state intermediates.”

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