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Editorial News of Saturday, 23 October 2021

Source: GNA

Political parties’ regulation: IDEG advocates creation of Multiparty Democracy Commission

Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director of IDEG Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director of IDEG

The Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), has proposed the creation of a Multiparty Democracy Commission to regulate pollical parties' activities towards a national sustainable democracy.

Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director, IDEG, said such a Commission would create conditions for political parties to operate and to be different from what they were now.

He said within the next 30 years political parties must champion the nation’s development and transformation agenda and win the youth over.

He noted that such a Commission must have the resources to recruit the youth and train them not to be violent and that the youth had to be given the competencies that they needed to be future leaders of the country.

Dr Akwetey made the proposal in his presentation at the Institute’s 2021 Ghana Speaks Lecture Series on the theme, “Reconstructing Local Governance and Multiparty Democracy in the Fourth Republic”.

He suggested that the State should create that institution backed by law, which in addition to the Electoral Commission (EC), would deal with parties or issues other than elections.

“In other countries the Police have so much power to regulate the parties on their financing, and no compromise; whether you are a prime minister or president, people have had to leave offices because they were being scrutinized of where they got their money and so on.”

Concerning efforts to get Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) elected, Dr Akwetey said both the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), still wanted it done; however, their modalities were different.

He said the NPP was interested in clearing all the impediments by amending articles 55(3) and 243(1) of the 1992 Constitution before the election of the MMDCEs could take place.

He said the NPP-led Government wanted to commit more money to the districts and probably they wanted to do this within their second term.

Dr Akwetey said the NDC on the other hand would want to carry out the election of MMDCEs without political parties but they were also trying to implement some of the recommendations of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), however, they had not specified exactly what they would do.

With regards to the two proposals by the duopoly on the modalities for the election of MMDCEs, Dr Akwetey suggested there should be a common ground for the two, that they were going to agree on what they were going to do.

He noted that there was the need for the creation of enabling conditions for the political parties to operate.

He said the problems of political parties such as the monetization and that accounting for who finances them would be important, adding that the behaviour of the parties and why small parties could not grow, would have to be addressed.

He reiterated that getting political parties into local government would be historic and that it would enable them to develop their capacities to lead transformational development.

Dr Akwetey maintained that if the reform was carried through, it would probably lead to competition in public service delivery.

“We are going to see the end of the winner takes all. We are going to see different parties working with the President, who may not necessarily be their party’s candidate,” he said

Adding that the focus on development would now be much stronger and that if devolution takes place, more money would be made available at the local level for development to take place.

Madam Naa Ansaa Ansah-Koi, Senior Research Officer, IDEG, said the Ghana Speakers Lecture Series deals with issues pertinent to consolidating democratic governance, security, peace, national cohesion and sustainable development in line with other goals of the Fourth Republic.

The panelists at the Lecture included Professor Kofi Quashigah, former Dean, University of Ghana Law School, and Mrs Hamida Harrison, Mobilisation and Sustainability Manager, Abantu for Development.

The rest were Nana Yaa Akyempim Jantuah, General Secretary, Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Mr Kwesi Jonah, Senior Research Fellow, IDEG.


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