Accra, March 18, Ghanadot/GNA - Electoral Commissioner Kwadwo
Afari-Gyan on Tuesday said creating equal opportunities to
resource the country’s political parties would make them
competitive and also bolster the integrity of the electoral
“A political party that does not have adequate resources is
seriously handicapped at winning elections, irrespective of the
quality of its leadership, messages and programmes,” Dr
Speaking at the fifth annual “Kronti ne Akwamu - Democracy and
Governance” lectures in Accra, Dr Afari-Gyan said the rules and
regulations governing elections should be the same for all
contestants and that the processes should always be transparent
for every candidate to have a fair chance of winning.
The lecture, organised by the Centre for Democratic Governance (CDD),
aimed at bridging the gap between reflection, research and
analysis to enrich the quality of public discourse on democracy
and governance reforms.
This year’s lecture was under the topic: “The Challenges of
Conducting Free and Fair Elections in Emerging Africa
Democracies: The Case of Ghana”.
Dr Afari-Gyan said state support for political parties would not
only contribute to a levelled playing field, but could also lead
to the public demanding accountability from the beneficiaries on
how campaign moneys are used.
It will also address specific issues like campaign finance and
restrict the role of money in elections, he added.
He commended President John Atta Mills for publicly declaring
intention to establish a fund to support political party
Dr Afari-Gyan cautioned against the monetisation of politics,
saying it was a fertile source of electoral corruption, as
politician could buy votes and election officials.
“For this reason, credible elections call for the transparent
use and accounting for campaign finance, unfortunately, this has
not been the case in Ghana,” he noted.
Other factors that could derail an election process are
governments taking undue advantage of incumbency, personality
attacks instead of issues-based political campaigns, inactions
of the Police and inaccurate reportage by sections of the media,
Dr Afari-Gyan added.
He said in order to achieve credible elections, it was important
that all parties played by the rules and regulations and that
the Police should see itself as a national institution not
beholden to the government or any political party.
The media should always be mindful of the fundamental rights, he
said, adding that freedoms of association, movement, speech and
choice must be exercised fairly to build on the credibility of
elections in Ghana.