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Opinions of Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Columnist: Amankwah, Nana Kofi

Democracy is being for sale

Many individuals and some politicians, who are not qualified to run for president, and believe in their affluent status, tend to influence our democracy with their money. These individuals believe that picking up a presidential candidate should not be based on one’s ability, intelligence and experiences, but the financial resource that can be used to influence the public through the media outlets like television, radio, newspaper, and the internet. This system has taken a significant role in our democratic establishment. In the next seven months, NPP delegates who have their party’s mandate from various constituencies across the nation will be heading to a conference to elect their party’s presidential candidate. We don’t know how much money these wanabe candidates are going to use to influence these delegates many of whom are unemployed. How can they avoid these bribes from these affluent candidates who want to buy their way to gain absolute powers?

In essence, our way of running a democratic process of choosing a candidate with a huge financial resource is destroying the democratic process. In December during the NDCs time of choosing their parties presidential candidate some of the aspirants like Eddie Annan, an affluent businessmen spent over two million dollars to influence the delegates to get the presidential nomination and the former Information and Education Minister, Ekwow Spio- Garbrah, also spent billions of cides. The delegates were able to use their common sense and reject them. Therefore, they lost their money and their aspiration. This signifies that these delegates were not impudent to sell their right of democracy; they were able to pick a prospective and experienced candidate, and the one whom they believe can contribute to the nation and their party. As a result of such a good democratic process, the nation is also expecting the NPP delegates not to sell democracy for their own egocentric interest. Already there have been inflows of monies from presidential candidates to various constituencies just to influence the votes for the up-coming December delegates’ conference. These delegates should realize that their votes are not only for themselves but the whole country and the people they represent from their constituencies.

The fundamental nature of Politicians who often bribe people to vote for them by our Ghanaian standard of politics, do not show any concern for the welfare of those who get them there. They are just looking for power to enrich themselves. Unlike many richer nations these affluent politicians are just looking for their name in the history books. These delegates have to prove that the influence of money from these egocentric wannabes is just a game; it is just like a chess player who loves only the process of the game, not the end of it. Some of these delegates will end up taking their money, but will refuse to vote for them. The delegates should restrain themselves from taking any money, and vote for a candidate who they believe have the capacity and skills to lead the nation to economic progress for the next generation. These individuals should remember that the UP traditions have come a long way to reach this far. The interest of the party to move forward and keep the traditions for the next generations is in their hands to pick the ideal person who could lead the party and the nation. They should prove to the whole nation that our democracy is not for sale.

From: Nana Kofi Amankwah (New York)

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.