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Establishment of multi-party democracy commission a waste of resources - Group

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Tue, 17 Oct 2017 Source: Daniel Kaku

A group calling itself, Concerned Voters Movement (CVM) has said the call for the establishment of a Multi-Party Democracy Commission (MDC) to regulate the activities of political parties in Ghana will cause financial losses. Background

The MDC, according to Dr Kwesi Jonah, a Senior Research Fellow at IDEG would regulate the activities of the various political parties in the country.

They would also be tasked to look into the financial standings and how political parties raise funds for their activities, especially during the electioneering period.

Dr Jonah made the call during a stakeholders’ consultation meeting on transformational local governance reform and constitutional amendment in Sunyani on 9th October, 2017.

It was organised by IDEG and attended by civil society organisations, security services, traditional rulers, the clergy and representatives of some political parties.

Dr Jonah noted that the activities of political parties were polarised as it was always difficult to control them.

This, the Senior Research Fellow explained was a contributory factor to the recurring threats of violence in Ghana’s Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.

Dr Jonah indicated the establishment of the Commission would improve on regulating activities of political parties by enacting laws to govern the electoral process and bring sanity into the electoral discourse as well.

However, the Electoral Commission of Ghana under the political parties Act, 2000 (Act 574) has the power and authority to regulate the activities of political parties including their sources of funding and submission of their audited accounts before and after general elections as well as during By-elections.

He further observed that the recurring threats of violence were partly as a result of a systematic problem, where Article 55 (3) of the 1992 constitution excluded political parties from contesting in local government elections.

Speaking to the media on Monday 16th October, 2016, the President and Founder of Concerned Voters Movement, Mr. Razak Kojo Opoku indicated that the Political Parties Act, 2000 (Act 574) should be amended to set out the criteria for Independent Presidential and Parliamentary Candidates.

"The Independent Presidential and Parliamentary Candidates should also be mandated to declare their sources of funding and how they raise funds for their activities especially during electioneering periods.

Again the Electoral Commission of Ghana should create a Department for Monitoring & Compliance to deal with the Political Parties who flout the Political Parties Act, 2000 (Act 574).

It is long overdue, the Electoral Commission of Ghana should crack the whip and revoke the licenses of the mushrooms and one man/woman political parties.

The call for the establishment of a Multi-Party Democracy Commission (MDC) to regulate the activities of Political Parties in the country will cause financial losses to the state. The establishment of the MDC will not be a useful platform to strengthen and consolidate the country's democratic gains"

Source: Daniel Kaku