Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, National Committee Chairman of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), has said the strategy of vote buying, voter intimidation and violence could entrench poverty and underdevelopment in the country.
He condemned what he described as “the politics of stealing, bribery, and violence” ahead of the by-election in Talensi.
“I am convinced now more than ever, that the politics of intimidation, violence, abuse of incumbency, the use of our tax money by the party in power, tribalism and vote stealing, if continued to 2016 and beyond, will condemn and entrench the majority of our people in poverty in all its forms – poor housing, bad health, short lifespan, inferior education, disease and unemployment”, he said.
Dr Nduom, who was the 2012 Presidential Candidate of the PPP, was addressing a press conference on matters arising out of the Talensi by-election and its possible implications for the 2016 general elections.
He said a resource rich country like Ghana deserves better than what its people are experiencing, and nothing would change, if things continue to be done the same way and the country’s leadership keeps making the same mistakes.
He questioned the type of democracy being practiced, which allows some political parties to act with impunity; cheat and divide the same people they want to rule.
According to him, judging by the preparation for the aborted by-election in Wulensi in 2012, the disputed general election in 2012 and the recent by-election in Talensi, the 2016 election could destroy the moral fabric, economic prospects and democratic credentials of the country, if the political parties, particularly the ruling NDC, does not change the habit of using the public purse to largely finance its campaign.
He said the PPP crusade about corruption was not an attempt to make the government unpopular and as a result lose the next election, but rather challenging the President to work hard to solve the corruption problem.
“The nation will not win the war against corruption through propaganda, “equalization” and mere finger pointing.
He said unplanned budget deficits have been experienced consistently every four years, after every election, and that the election year spending by governments in the Fourth Republic has put the economy at risk and collapsed many businesses.
“Based on what I saw in Talensi, the Mahama Administration is on course to repeat the excessive spending in election 2016 and bring back problems for all of us and whoever wins the election”, he said.
Dr Nduom said it was a fact that corruption was the rot killing the nation, but the PPP has successfully raised the consciousness of Ghanaians to understand that if they do not deal with the rot systematically and successfully, the majority of Ghanaians would continue to live in filth and poverty.
He said the Electoral Commission (EC) as it stands now, has not been able to fully enforce the Political Parties Law and make the political parties, who want to come and govern the country law-abiding.
He said he saw political parties in Talensi, who by the Political Parties Law cannot meet the requirements of the law, because political parties were supposed to be national in character, have offices in two-thirds of the districts, raise funds from Ghanaians within the prescribed limits and deliver annual returns, among others.
He challenged the EC to ensure the strong enforcement of the laws, probe into the sources of funding of political parties and also ensure that they all meet the criteria as required for recognition and participation under the law.