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Ghana’s Democracy In Danger! As Monetization Takes Center Stage   
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Victoria Hamah
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Political pundits and watchers have observed with trepidation how Ghana’s democracy has taken a noise-dive, eventually sliding into the abyss, with monetization of elections at the core and heart of it.

Well-meaning Ghanaians, civil society organizations and think-tanks have all spoken against the monetization in Ghana’s politics which they say has reached the zenith, but regrettably, political parties have demonstrated that they are unconcerned about the worrying development in Ghana’s politics year after year.

Indeed, the recent New Patriotic Party [NPP] delegates’ congress in Koforidua in the Eastern Region, cannot be lost on Ghanaians where money took center stage in a vulgar and obscene fashion with aspirants accusing one other of the syndrome of vote-buying.

Prior to the Congress, a veritable contender of the party chairmanship slot, Mr. Stephen Ntim, accused his opponent of massive vote-buying saying Mr. Freddie Blay compromised delegates with material inducements of all shapes, colours and forms.

“Material inducements of all shapes, colours and forms will also feature prominently in Koforidua. Please accept anything that is offered to you, but do not allow those considerations to influence your decision to vote for Ntim, “he urged delegates. Mr. Ntim also accused Mr. Freddie Blay of compromising delegates of his promise to provide each constituency with a bus saying the gesture was a symbol of “artificially engineered endorsement” for votes from delegates.

Then comes the National Democratic Congress [NDC] parliamentary primaries with accusation and counter-accusations of vote-buying with cash and other material inducements such as wax prints, sewing machines etc.

For instance, the incumbent Kumbungu Constituency Member of Parliament [MP], Ras Mubarak who suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of his opponent Dr. Hamza Adam, a lecturer at the University for Development Studies [UDS], accused him of vote-buying.

Speaking in an interview with an Accra-based Okay FM, Ras Mubarak said, he has “incontrovertible evidence” to prove  that, his opponent, was aided with an amount of GH¢500,000 by the said businessman, but would not discuss the details in the media.

According to him, although he has “no issues” with the winner of the poll and has pledged his full support for him, the businessman who flagrantly went to his constituency to influence the outcome of the poll with money must be brought to justice.

“If we do not pay urgent attention to the issues of vote buying that is creeping into our politics soon we will have drug dealers and terrorists choosing our MPs and even the president with their money”, a situation he said ‘would undermine the integrity of our democracy,” the Kumbungu MP cried.

Another failed Parliamentary candidate, Victoria Lakshmi Hamah, blamed her defeat on massive cash splash and other monetary inducements which she describes as ‘monecracy.’

According to her, her opponent for the Kintampo North constituency seat whom she describes as ‘turn rich’ overnight, influenced delegates with money leading to her defeat.

“In NDC, we are not known to be rich; even former President Mahama will not be counted among rich people in Ghana so just imagine a poor person becoming rich all of a sudden. If he did not borrow then he stole,” she lamented.

She claimed the delegates rejected her because she “vowed never to use money to rob the people of their dignity”.

“[Being an] MP is a service, well, at least for me and I vowed never to use money to rob my people of their dignity but they rejected me for money,” she stressed.

Victoria Hamah said she could have also borrowed money to win the primaries but thought it will not be a true reflection of her performance.

“I feel disappointed and humiliated after getting just 65 of the total votes cast. It is obvious people prefer money to the truth,” she bemoaned.

At the Awutu Senya West Constituency, the former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hannah Serwah Tetteh, has been accused by some NDC delegates of vote buying in the favour of her sister, Gizella Tetteh.

The delegates who spoke to Adom News alleged that the former Foreign Affairs Minister gave out cash of GH¢300, clothes and boots to delegates on behalf of her sister, who eventually won the primaries.

“Madam Hannah Tetteh is sharing clothes, Wellington boots and GH¢300 to NDC delegates at Obrachire Methodist Church on behalf of her junior sister Gizella who is contesting in the NDC primaries,” a delegates alleged.
Source: The Informer

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