Politics of 2014-04-29

Political parties must cease being election machines – IDEG

The Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) together with the Civic Forum Initiative is contemplating measures to legislate core political party activities in the country.

The measures, if finalised and approved, would see political parties hold internal elections within a particular period.

The rationale for the intended legislation is to have political parties focus more on development issues than to dabble in mere politics.

The idea was part of a number of reforms suggested at a Forum organised by the Civic Forum Initiative in collaboration with IDEG and other civil society groups.

The forum was used to launch a nationwide campaign dubbed: “The Urgency for Multi-party Governance Reforms, before 2016 Elections."

Speaking to Joy News' Evans Mensah after the forum, the Executive Director of IDEG, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, said it is about time political party activities are legislated.

He bemoaned what he said is the practice by the "opposition parties doing nothing much except to think of next election," as well as governments implementing policies just to win elections.

Dr Akwetey said the opposition parties must begin to think about development issues even when they are out of government and show in clear details how to solve corruption, manage the economy and how to improve education if given power.

He suggested that the new legislation would provide the necessary "incentives and sanctions" to the political parties.

"You cannot behave anyhow; everything must be done according to the laws," he emphasised.

Dr Akwetey said the political parties were widely consulted before the reforms were put together.

According to him, all the key party representatives have accepted the new proposal.

He said with the status-quo, the political parties are nothing more than just "election machines."