We can’t continue to ignore the healthy dev’t of our political parties – Mahama

According to former president John Dramani Mahama, strong political parties are essential for advancing democracy and long-term growth in any nation.

He claimed that the parties play important roles in the establishment of governments, foster the development of leaders at all levels, and act as watchdogs for already-in-power administrations.

At a speech on political party financing on March 22 at the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA) auditorium, he stated, “This is why we cannot continue to overlook the healthy growth of our political parties, given that these also state political institutions.

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Regarding government funding for politics, Mr. Mahama said that some have maintained that only public cash can be forwarded to parties and cannot be done so in secret.

According to him, this refers to the government providing financial aid or other forms of covert support to political parties.

As previously said, affluent party financiers may assume the role of political godfathers, dictating electoral outcomes and everything that happens afterward, in the absence of such support and given the high expense of political operations.

“Ghana is bankrupt now. We have been given a bad credit rating by international rating organizations. The possibility of further state funding cannot, therefore, be considered. I suggest that we set up an alternative even if that becomes an option in the future.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer candidate also suggested that, should public support of political parties increase in the near future, a trustworthy and independent organization be chosen to oversee the state funds provided to political parties.

“In that sense, a method for allocating shares might be created to guarantee equity and impose strict transparency obligations on beneficiary parties. The auditing and reporting of party finances must be added to this.

“Ladies and gentlemen, even while I do not advocate for greater state funding at this time of widespread economic collapse, I acknowledge that much more needs to be learned about the financing of political parties because this could have an impact on our developmental outcomes. We need to be aware of how politicians raise money for their campaigns, as well as who they owe money to and when they must make repayments.

Hence, it’s crucial that we have ongoing conversations and come to a consensus on how to finance political parties within the framework of public policy in order to advance good governance and democratic norms in Ghana.

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