General News of 2014-01-28

Ghana’s politics has been monetized - Arthur Kennedy asserts

A member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Arthur Kennedy, is warning of dire consequences if nothing is done about the monetization of Ghana’s politics.

He described as worrying how young men and women go into politics with virtually nothing and within few years they have a lot of money.

Dr. Arthur Kennedy was reacting to allegations of vote buying in the just ended regional elections of the NPP, especially in the Ashanti region.

The leading contender, Bernard Antwi Bosiako, now regional chairman, was accused of inducing party delegates with money to beat his rival, Kwame Osei Prempeh, a former Deputy Attorney General in the erstwhile Kufuor administration.

The issue became murkier when Chairman Wontumi, as he is popularly called, donated an office complex to the party a day to the elections.

Wontumi described the donation as a philanthropic gesture to the party but his opponent said it was unethical and an endorsement of corruption by executives of the NPP.

Based on these, Dr. Arthur Kennedy on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme on Monday underscored the need for the NPP to take a second look at people who fund the party.

“It is good that people want to spend their money in building our party but it should not be for buying votes directly.”

Dr. Arthur Kennedy blamed the growing spate of corruption in the country on undisclosed sources of funding by political parties.

“Our politics has been monetized; the reason why our deficit was so large was because the government used all our monies to buy our votes including sharing laptops” he stressed.

Dr. Arthur Kennedy called for a national consensus to regulate the use of money in Ghana’s politics.

“We are getting to where we think money can do everything. Even if the sources of the monies are legitimate, we should be worried about how it is being used”.