Expand electoral colleges to reduce vote-buying – CDD-Ghana urges political parties

Senior Programmes Officer at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) Paul Kwabena Aborampah says for Ghana to mitigate the phenomenon of vote-buying in the various electoral process, certain drastic measures would have to be taken including expanding the various electoral colleges.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he said the move would make it extremely difficult for aspirants to pay their way through the electoral process.

“Expanding the college increases the cost of politics as our research has established that in every single election, candidates spend around 90,000 dollars in getting their way through from primaries to the actual contest in the elections,” he explained on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

The concerns come on the back of allegations of vote-buying amid a report by Corruption Watch which seems to corroborate same.

Mr Aborampah admitted that even though the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had recently expanded their electoral colleges, it had not significantly reduced the phenomenon.

This he says is because other measures would have to be put in place to ensure that aspirants spend less during the electoral process.

He said the law in that regard could be a great measure.

“The law, yes. We can think about the best practices from other countries to see. I was discussing with Ambassador Francis Tsigah who is a retired diplomat working with us, and he said in other jurisdictions they have a period at which you can hold a contest.

“In the national level, presidential and parliamentary elections, they can reduce the months that people can actually be campaigning. So as to reduce the number of days they will go to the field to increase their cost,” he said.

The Senior Programmes Officer also added that “They can also reduce even the number of posters. I think the NDC tried that in their last primaries that people were limited as to how many posters they can have.”

But he was quick to caution that, in the absence of effective enforcement mechanisms, all these measures put in place will prove futile.

“If we have all these things and we don’t have enforcement mechanisms that go with sanctions, they will be null.”

Source: Cornelius Kweku Affre (myjoyonline.com)

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