Former Youth and ports Minister in the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah is advocating prudent spending on the part of political parties in the country, particularly the NDC.
According to him, the country must head towards a system in its democratic dispensation in which laws must be promulgated to put a cap on how much each political party must spend in an election year.
Mr. Afriyie Ankrah who is a member of the NDC congress committee bemoaned the lavish spending by political parties during elections and wants a paradigm shift.
He describes as frightening, the amount of money usually spent by the political parties, especially the two main parties, the NDC and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He said there is need for the country to hold a national debate and dialogue on the funding of political parties in the country, adding that there is a link between businesses that support political parties financially and corruption.
He cited his own experience in which he was asked as sports minister to streamline the operations of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), explaining that it was discovered that most of the companies that have contracts with the institution were the same companies supporting both the NDC and the NPP financially, a situation he said makes it difficult to terminate the contract of such companies, even if they fail to perform.
Mr. Afriyie Ankrah believes the issue should not be politicized as it is of national concern and must be treated as such.
‘’If we want to stem corruption in this country, one of the big issues we need to look at is the amount of money we spend every 4 years on campaigns. Because the businessman that is helping you with his finances during your campaign will definitely come for a contract and he will quote figures that are high because he must recoup his money and make profit and perhaps save for the next campaign’’ he argued.
He also suggested that Ghana must make efforts to learn from the advanced democracies where election campaign spending is less, and replicate same in the country.