Afriyie Ankrah Calls For Change In Electoral Funding Laws, Long-Term Development Plan

Elvis Afriyie Ankrah
Elvis Afriyie Ankrah

The Director of Elections for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has called for a rethink of electoral finance arrangements in the country. He has also called for a long-term non-partisan development policy for Ghana.

Speaking at the Change Makers Forum at the Pentecost University College at Sowutuom, Accra, Mr. Afriyie Ankrah said the system where political parties have the freedom to raise campaign funding from any and every source without proper accountability and supervision is detrimental to the country because it breeds corruption, and must change.

“We need a paradigm shift. The first paradigm shift is in our politics.” he told the audience.”We need to look at best practices globally”.

He said without excluding his own party, it is time for politicians to face up to the elephant in the room and deal with the question most politicians are quick to avoid.

Has anybody talked about how much the political parties spend every 4 years when its time for elections? Every 4 years we spend humongous amounts of money. You do need some amount of money to run your politics and we haven’t developed the mechanisms to generate the finances from within

“Has anybody talked about how much the political parties spend every 4 years when its time for elections? Every 4 years we spend humongous amounts of money. You do need some amount of money to run your politics and we haven’t developed the mechanisms to generate the finances from within” the former Sports Minister said.

Admitting that political parties need money to carry out their electoral campaigns, Mr. Afriyie Ankrah however decried the arrangement where unlike in some other jurisdictions where parties are financed from party contributions, Ghana has a system which makes it legal and acceptable to accept funding from unknown and unseen donors who the parties become beholden to after they come into power.

“The people who give us the money, you think they are charity organizations? After all they want their money back” he said.

Mr. Afriyie Ankrah also called for a long term, non-partisan development plan for the country. He advised that loan agreements with other countries which are guaranteed by our natural resources must be carefully and judiciously entered into. Using the $2bn Chinese Sinohydro loan as an example, he questioned if Ghana is getting the worth of the bauxite which the Chinese are going to mine to repay the loan.

What is the institutional mechanism put in place to determine how many trucks, how many ships or how many train-loads of bauxite is up to the 2 billion… do you know? I don’t know

“What is the institutional mechanism put in place to determine how many trucks, how many ships or how many train-loads of bauxite is up to the 2 billion… do you know? I don’t know”. He quizzed.

“There is no mechanism for us to check, that at what point do we say OK, enough. In any case who has valued the bauxite? Where is the report for us to see independently and analyze? Who has subjected that report to critique?” he asked.

He called on the youth to use social media to start a campaign to compel governments to commit to a long term development plan.

Referring to himself as a change agent, he also called for attitudinal change among the general populace.

“I am a change agent, I don’t want things to remain the same” Mr. Afriyie Ankrah said.

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