The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has called for an end to monetisation of the country’s democratic practice.
He said allowing the practice to be a feature of the competitive democratic process only compromises good governance in a fledgling democracy.
Addressing the end of the Second Meeting of the Fourth Session of Parliament, Professor Oquaye said: “Monetisation of our democracy compromises the democratic process of good governance. As a country, we have not really captured the political will to arrest the situation.”
Law on party expenditure
He called for the introduction of a law to check the expenditure of the various political parties.
Professor Oquaye warned that if nothing is done about the growing monetisation of politics, Ghana runs the risk of seeing its political parties proliferate purely in response to movements of money.
Describing the phenomenon as “moneycracy”, he suggested that there should be a cap on how much money a party can spend during elections.
“We do not want funding to become the yardstick for the proliferation of political parties,” Professor Oquaye said.
“We need a new law on political party income and expenditure generally, particularly with regard to putting a ceiling on election expenses. As we prepare for Election 2020, I am aware that members are concerned about election expenses. It is about time we critically examined issues of moneycracy,” he said.
The Speaker noted that it is important for Ghana to preserve its place as a beacon of democracy on the continent.
“Half democracy is no democracy,” he declared, and called on legislators to avoid any form of hate speech during their campaigns.
“It is important that, as legislators, we uphold the laws that we have passed. I am confident you will also educate your constituents on the Public Order Act 1994 (Act 491), the Public Elections Regulations 2016 (31.94) and other laws which are geared towards the preservation of our democracy,” Professor Oquaye told the MPs.
He added: “The peace of this country is essential for creating a congenial atmosphere for good governance.
“We need to appreciate the ingredients that make for democracy and good governance.”
E A Alanore