Joe Osei Owusu bemoans vote-buying in Ghana’s politics
First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, wants political parties to unite in the fight against the rising spate of vote-buying and monetization in the country’s politics.
Many have bemoaned the rising cost of political contests in Ghana, with some suggesting that the highest bidders and not the most qualified take over the reins of leadership.
Speaking on the Floor of Parliament earlier this week, the Bekwai MP called for urgent steps to reverse the worrying trend.
“I thought that the whole essence of organizing elections was to enable the political parties to have control and determine the quality and selection of people who become MPs and leaders of the party. But today I doubt that. This complaint about paying, first, we must admit that we as a people have developed the culture of wanting a reward for everything. We can call it whatever we want but money is involved in the elections at the primaries, national, party leadership, every level.”
He complained that in some instances, people join political parties “because that is where they can win, not because they are aligned philosophically with any political grouping. That for me is dangerous for our political system. But we can change that,” he said.
There have been similar calls by several leaders in the country to stop the act of monetizing politics.
The most recent is the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu calling for measures to be set to curb the menace.
According to him, the phenomenon has denied citizens the right calibre of representation and leadership as political positions are now being sold to the highest bidder in an open political market.
I spent GH¢300,000 to campaign in parliamentary primaries – Xavier Sosu
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate for the Madina constituency, Francis Xavier Sosu, had earlier lamented that he spent about GH¢ 300,000 on his campaign.
He said the funds were expended on items including feeding and transportation for delegates, fuel for campaign travels among others.
The Director of Policy Research at the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, Dr. Kojo Asante had also expressed fears that the recent public disclosure and accusations of vote-buying in party elections are gradually damaging Ghana’s democracy.