A former Member of Parliament (MP) for the Kumbungu Constituency, Ras Mubarak, is calling for legislation on party campaign financing, which will guide political parties’ expenditure during electoral periods.
The former MP noted that the absence of legislation on campaign financing could gradually plunge the country into a situation where unscrupulous persons elect people to the helm of affairs, a situation he fears could have dire consequences for the country’s development.
Speaking to Citi News on the back of allegations of vote buying during the Kumawu by-election, Ras Mubarak stressed the urgency for the legislation.
“I don’t see why primaries in Ghana should cost up to GH¢2 million. GH¢2 million is a lot of money, but people are paying GH¢2 million just to win parliamentary primaries, and that is why when a lot of people get to Parliament, they are not serious. I don’t know if you have observed proceedings of Parliament when bills are being passed into law.”
He added, “When we are doing legislation on the floor of Parliament, the house is almost always empty. Those who got in there, the majority of them are not interested in the act of passing laws. Because they had spent so much to win their primaries…they are busy out there looking for money to keep up appearances.”
He also expressed fears that the exit of some experienced Members of Parliament from Parliament is going to have serious consequences.
“You get people who don’t contribute to anything in committee, they only come and sign their names and take committee allowances. They don’t contribute, they come and sit in committee meetings and they won’t talk, they will come to plenary, and they won’t talk for four years. And guess what? These people will get re-elected, and the people who are doing the grinding, the hard work–they are kicked out.
“Look at the 7th Parliament, the kind of people who lost their primaries. So we have Joseph Yiele Chireh, former MP for Wa West, a former Offinso South MP, Ben Abdallah Banda, a former MP for Daboya-Mankarigu, Mahama Shaibu. I mean these are fine brains, go to Parliament, read the Hansard and see the contributions they made,” Ras Mubarak argued.