The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has advised the government to enforce sanctions against vote-buying, abuse of incumbency and threats to voters to ensure that the 2020 elections are fair and transparent.

The anti-corruption body also says the Nana Akufo-Addo government must take a critical look at elements that promote public sector corruption including patronage, clientelism, nepotism and suspiciously close ties between politics and business, if it wants to win the war against corruption. 

These are part of the recommendations from GII after the release of the 2019 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) report compiled by its mother organisation, Transparency International.

Ghana since 2018 has scored the same points, 41 out of a possible 100.

CPI 2019 focuses on political integrity and highlights the relationship between politics, money and corruption.

By political integrity TI means the quality of (a) contesting and exercising power (political/public office) consistently acting in the public interest, and (b) providing equal, open and meaningful access to the affected stakeholders before arriving at decisions.

“Frustration with government corruption and lack of trust in institutions speak to a need for greater political integrity,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International.

“Governments must urgently address the corrupting role of big money in political party financing and the undue influence it exerts on our political systems,” he added. 

Ghana performed better than 37 other Sub-Saharan African countries including Burkina Faso – 40; Lesotho – 40; Ethiopia – 37; Gambia – 37; and Tanzania – 37.

In 2019, while Ghana performed better than Burkina Faso and Lesotho, Ghana could not catch up with countries like South Africa, Senegal, São Tomé and Príncipe, etc. that scored better than Ghana in 2018.

As part of measures to address the canker, GII made a number of recommendations for the Akufo-Addo government.

According to GII, “government must take a critical look at elements that promote public sector corruption including patronage, clientelism, nepotism and suspiciously close ties between politics and business.”

It also wants government to enforce sanctions against vote-buying, abuse of incumbency and threats to voters in order to ensure the 2020 elections are held in a fair and transparent environment.

The Ghana Integrity Initiative charged the Electoral Commission to enforce sections 13 and 14 of the Political Parties Act, 2000 (Act 574) which deal with declaration of assets and expenditure by political parties.

Also, the anti-corruption body is urging civil society organisations including the media must offer equal opportunities for espousing of ideas, programmes and plans and create platforms to hold duty bearers accountable.