Legal expert Martin Kpebu has criticized the practice of giving money to voters during political elections in Ghana.
He says this practice is unacceptable and harmful to Ghana’s democracy.
He made these remarks on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, May 13, while commenting on the GH ¢40 that former President John Dramani Mahama’s campaign gave to each delegate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to facilitate their transportation to the voting centers in Saturday’s presidential and parliamentary primaries.
He said that money influences the outcome of elections and the quality of leaders, and that politicians who receive financial support from businessmen expect to repay them with contracts.
“Money in our elections is no secret and we have to make as much noise about it as possible because if we don’t it will get worse,” he said. “It is a big blot on our democracy, it affects the kind of leaders we have, so it means that the elections are to the highest bidder, the one who has more money is able to win and even when it comes to the presidential primaries, it is money… the businessman who used his money to support the candidate is not Father Christmas, he is a hard note businessman, very greedy for profit, so once the candidate wins he is coming for his money through contracts.
Sometimes you look at the candidate and you will note that but for money this person should not be a candidate… you see fine brains and intellectuals in the party but they cannot become flagbearers because they don’t have the connections and all that. Let us talk about it as often as we can because we definitely have to change.
“Sometimes you look at the candidate and you this corruption is going to continue because of how the candidate gets into office, people are sponsoring them and once people continue to sponsor them, these businessmen will act to recoup their money and how are they going to recoup their money, they will recoup through crooked procurement contracts.”
The spokesperson of Mr Mahama’s campaign, Joyce Bawa Mogtari, defended the GH ¢40 gesture in a statement, saying that it was meant to empower the delegates to vote and return home without financial difficulty in these hard economic times.
Meanwhile, Juliana Kinang-Wassan, a parliamentary aspirant for the Ejura Sekyedumase Constituency, was captured on video throwing money at a crowd during the elections on Saturday at Ejura Sekyedumase, in the Ashanti Region. The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has summoned her for questioning over her conduct.
“You are directed to attend the Office of the Special Prosecutor at 6 Haile Selassie Avenue, South Ridge, Accra on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 10 am for interviewing.
“You may be accompanied by counsel of your choice,” a letter from the OSP said.
The Police also said that they were examining her conduct in the video to determine whether there were any election-related crimes involved or not.
“A dedicated legal team is currently scrutinising her conduct in the video to establish whether there are elements of election-related crime to warrant Police intervention or otherwise,” the Police said in a statement.
However, a former Minister of Health Alex Segbefia blamed the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for introducing monetization into Ghana’s politics.
He said his party, the NDC, learned bad habits from the NPP.
“In 1992 and 1996, even up to 2000 bribery issue was a thing of the past. I am putting it squarely in the house of the NPP that this monetization of our system came to pass in a big way from 2004 onwards and it was a creation, to the extent to which we are seeing it now, of the NPP.
“Unfortunately, we in the NDC have learned bad habits. I am not absorbing ourselves in any way from it,” he said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday.