The acting chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Freddy Blay has admitted there are wealthy people funding political parties in Ghana which must be stopped. Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a forum on political party financing he insisted the phenomenon is a threat to the country's democracy.
The high cost in campaigning and incessant request for support have raised suspicions of money bags behind major political parties. Concerns have also been raised about faceless political party campaign investors who demand their pound of flesh after political victory. Acting chairman of the new patriotic party, Freddy Blay admits political parties are funded by wealthy people.
He said “it’s unfortunate that it happens. All over the world it happens and it happens in Ghana. And you can tell that unless you’re near power, it is difficult for your business to prosper, it’s difficult for your business to go on. “In that case some people get near power to somehow get their business to go on and we are not happy with that and we think that should change.” Mr. Blay insisted that because political parties file tax returns, limited state funding should be made available to parties.
He said “in a limited way, it should be done but it must be under some conditions. It’s not that one would say I’ve formed a political party so come and fund me. You should make efforts to maybe be in parliament or have some political representation, have a certain number of political offices etc, then based on that criteria, you could be funded.”
But the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Koku Anyidoho disagreed with the assertion. He indicated that “it would leave a lot of questions hanging” taking the task payers money to fund political parties. He also questioned that “how would the public take it in the face of economic challenges?”
Koku Anyidoho said political parties have varied ways of sourcing for funds adding that “individuals at the constituency level or the branch level” make contributions.
“And when you move to the national level there are corporate entities who do not want their identities disclosed, individuals who don’t want their identities disclosed for whatever reasons etc... So there is a whole gamut of financing sources.”
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