A former President of South Africa, Mr F. W de Klerk, has called for limited state funding of political parties, especially the smaller parties.

He explained that state funding ought to be limited to building the infrastructure of the small parties such as offices for them to function well.

He stressed that the state funding should not be used to finance typical political activities such as campaigning, which, he said, could result in corruption of the body politic of the country.

Mr de Klerk made the suggestion when he interacted with editors and senior journalists at the end of a two-day visit to the country at the invitation of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).

His visit formed part of a programme under which global figures and dignitaries visit the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) to speak on a broad range of issues of relevance to Ghana, the West Africa sub-region and Africa generally.

The programme is under the auspices of the IEA and the Global Leadership Forum, a UK-based network of former presidents, scholars and global figures, who seek to offer developing democracies the benefit of their experiences in governance, economic development and policy making.

He also said creating avenues for the views and concerns of minorities to be heard helped to build democracy as well as prevented moments of despondency.

In this regard, he advocated a strong civil society to help with the check and balances of ensuring good governance.

According to Mr de Klerk, building a strong democracy and preventing the winner-takes-all mentality should be a process of consultation and consensus building.

Ruling parties, in his view, ought to be accommodating and sympathetic to smaller parties by taking on board their concerns.

He said, for example, that the ruling parties could appoint Members of Parliament from minority political parties to head key parliamentary committees.

This, he said, would not only help with consensus building but keep a check on accountable governance which in the long run would better the lot of the nation.

Concerning the role of the media, Mr de Klerk said the media was an irreplaceable pillar in a healthy ,sound democracy and called for some form of self-regulation by the media.

He said as it was in the political arena, the media landscape also had its own loose cannons that had to be regulated.

Mr de Klerk said when the media regulated itself by following ethical journalistic practice where standards were upheld, politicians would not have cause to stifle freedom of expression.

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