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Mahama recommends public funding of political parties bill to regulate political financing

Former President John Dramani Mahama, has recommended that an explicit Public Funding of Political Parties Bill be put before parliament in future to deal with issues surrounding funding for political parties.

According to him, while there is still support for the state to fund the activities of political parties, he argues that taking into consideration the current fiscal climate in the country, such an option is not a viable one.

He said the Public Funding of Political Parties Bill would have to be bipartisan and inclusive in order for all issues to surrounding political party financing be covered appropriately.

This he says is to prevent the current godfather-ism that is characterising Ghana’s political landscape.

“…in the absence of such support, and given the huge cost of political activities, wealthy party financiers may take over as political godfathers who determine electoral outcomes and all that follows it,” he said.

John Mahama was delivering a keynote address at the University of Professional Studies, Accra on the theme: ‘Financing political campaigns the Ghana we Want: The Case for a more transparent and broad-based citizen participation.’

He was also launching his JM 2024 fundraising platform to help raise funds for his presidential bid in the upcoming general elections.

Speaking on party financing, he said, “I further recommend that should public funding of political parties be scaled up in the foreseeable future, then, an independent and credible institution must be selected to administer the state resources advanced to political parties. In that regard, a sharing formula could be established to ensure fairness, and specific disclosure requirements on beneficiary parties. This must be complemented by auditing and publication of party accounts.

“Ladies and gentlemen, even though I do not recommend additional state financing at this time of national economic meltdown, I accept a lot more needs to be understood regarding how political parties are financed because these could have implications on our developmental outcomes. We must understand how politicians finance their campaigns for office, and to whom they are indebted and are expected to repay.

“It is therefore important we engage in sustained discussions and build consensus on funding political parties within the context of public policy to promote good governance and democratic practices in Ghana,” he said.

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