We’ll push for state funding

The Vice-President says the government will push for the state funding of political parties in the country.

He said considering the enormous role of political parties in multi-party democracy and the cost involved in running their day-to-day affairs, there was the need for the state to lend support.

Interacting with members of the Interim Steering Committee of the ECOWAS Political Parties Forum at the Castle, Osu, in Accra yesterday, the Vice-President said, “The cost of running a political party is a problem. This is an issue that we need to bring to the public. It should be possible for the state to offer some support.”

The Vice-President said democracy was gaining root in Africa and most nations had opted for the democratic election of their leaders.

He said the fact that more than 30 countries on the continent had opted for democratic rule was an indication that Africa had made an advancement towards multi-party democracy.

Mr Mahama said political party formation in contemporary era went beyond power struggles, adding that such groupings could serve as vehicles for social mobilisation and educating and informing the people on what to do.

The Vice-President, however, expressed worry about the sort of pettiness that characterised political parties in some parts of the world.

He said once a party came to power ” the other party must be kicked out, businesses must collapse. Our systems must work to enable us to avoid these.”

Mr Mahama said the days when people wanted to become life chairmen of political institutions, among others, were past.

He said Ghana has had five successful elections and expressed the country’s commitment to sharing its experiences with other African countries.

The ECOWAS Principal Programme Officer in charge of the Democracy and Good Governance Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mr Eyesan E. Okorodudu, said the Committee was in the country to seek more views on an “ECOWAS Political Party Charter, which would serve as a framework for activities of political parties in the sub-region.

He said the objective of the committee was to ensure conflict and war-free elections in member countries.

The National Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria, a political party in Nigeria, Mr Usman Bugaje, called for unity among all groupings on the continent since unity was crucial to development.

Source: Daily Graphic