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CSOs committed to push political accountability agenda in Ghana’s elections

CSOs committed to push political accountability agenda in Ghana’s elections

By: Rustum Senorgbe/ Esther Adjeley Mensah

Civil Society Organisations in Ghana have pledged their readiness to identify, partner and develop programmes to influence electoral policies and change behaviour on political campaign financing, vote buying and abuse of state resources by political actors before, during and after the 2024 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Under the auspices of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and its partners, the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) established citizen coalition members and representatives from Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association of Ghana (GIBA) participated in a two-day workshop held on March 4 -5, 2024 at the Fiesta Royal Hotel, Accra.

The Director, Regional Europe Office of IFES and lead facilitator, Dr. Magnus Ohman walked participants through global practices on electoral rules, research publications, and tried and tested models in monitoring electoral processes across the globe and the need to adapt some into Ghana’s elections.

Participants deliberated on issues such as, political campaign financing, monetization, public funding of candidates, illegal funding, violations, lack of transparency, vote buying, and abuse of state resources, with a call for a review of the Political Parties Act 2000 (Act 574) to engender transparency in political parties financing.

They discussed the need to make public, financiers of political parties, punish those who violate electoral laws, establish campaign periods, draw a line between abuse of state resources and performance of state functions, among others.

They further promised to deploy tested models like Parallel Expense Tracking to monitor where political parties and candidates get their money, provide evidence to use in court cases, data on expenditure, information on vote buying, and the use of financial, institutional, enforcement and regulatory resources by incumbent parties for abuse of office.

The workshop was in line with the implementation of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Political Accountability Activity (POLA) in partnership with Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) designed to equip and strengthen political mechanisms in Ghana.

Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Ghana are scheduled for December 7, 2024.

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