NPP Primaries: How aspirants bought votes with cars, gas cylinders, others

Tue, 1 Oct 2019 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The phenomenon of vote-buying has become a norm during election periods in most African countries, including Ghana, with hundreds of cedis, sometimes dollars spent with the aim of influencing electorate who wield the power to elect politicians for various positions in government.

Some of these monies are spent on party paraphernalia which are distributed during campaign tours and at rally grounds. The items range from pieces of cloth, farm tools, monetary incentives, and cars, to mention but a few.

While many politicians are of the view that these "goodies" that are distributed do not constitute vote-buying, many people strongly disagree.

Many international and local institutions such as CDD Ghana and CODEO have vehemently called these gestures nothing but a way of buying votes and influencing electorates.

This school of thought defines vote-buying as a corrupt election practice. It is a means to entice delegates in voting for them. In Ghana, the two major political parties are gearing up for the general elections in 2020 and as part of preparations, they are organizing primaries to elect representatives who will contest parliamentary seats.

Last weekend at the just ended NPP primaries, there were reports of some candidates sharing "goodies" to party delegates to buy their votes.

At Ajumako Enyam Essiam, an aspiring parliamentary candidate, Elisha Odoom, who had brought 11 saloon cars to the election grounds, is reported to have taken the vehicles away after he lost.

He had promised to donate each of the branded cars to the 10 Zones in the constituency. The remaining one, according to Accra-based Kasapa FM, was to be donated to the constituency office to ensure the effective running of party activities.

However, this was not to be as Mr Debrah Odoom, who was so sure of representing the governing NPP, lost to Rashid Kwesi Etuaful. Obviously angry and disappointed, Mr. Debrah Odoom asked that all the cars be loaded on a trailer and driven to his residence much to the surprise of the delegates.

At Ellembele in the Western Region, Mr. Francis Bonzoh, the District Chief Executive, is alleged to have also distributed cylinders, wellington boots, and cutlasses branded with his photo.

Mr Bonzoh was retained after polling 359 votes against his contenders.

Below are some of the items reported to have been shared to delegates:

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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