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04.04.2007 General News

Political parties want State funding


Leading political parties from Ghana and Togo have given their support to ongoing debate that political parties must be financed by the State.

The parties contend that such move would create a level playing field for effective participation in the governance processes.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra at the end of a two-day follow-up meeting, Brigadier-General (rtd) Francis A. Agyemfra, a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said the meeting enabled participants to affirm their commitment to harness the energies of the participating political parties in both countries.

He noted that solutions to some of the problems in multi-party democracy could be found through consensus building and a clear definition of roles for all stakeholders.

Brigadier-General Agyemfra said the meeting acknowledged the merits of concerted efforts from political parties in both countries towards achieving democratic governance in the West African Sub-Region and agreed to ensure free, fair and credible elections in both countries.

He said participants agreed to continue using the Permanent Consultative Conference of Chairpersons of Political Parties of Ghana and Togo to sustain the spirit and commitment demonstrated at the meeting.

The General Secretary of Ghana's ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Ohene Ntow, said the meeting marked a political milestone since it enabled participants to entrench the principles and practices of multi-party democracy.

He said there was general agreement among participants that multi-party democracy had proved to be the best and that his party would adhere to the principles and practices such as transparency, protection of individual rights and accountability.

Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan, a representative of the People's National Convention (PNC), said the meeting helped to close the gap that existed between the two countries.

“The ultimate objective of politics is that you have to be able to carry everybody along”, he said.

The two-day joint consultative meeting brought together six leading Togolese and four Ghanaian political parties. Participants deliberated on issues such as the role of political parties, civil society and the youth in ensuring peaceful elections, consensus building in multi-party democracy, prospects for the sustenance of multi-party democracy in both countries.

The meeting was under the theme; “Political Parties as Vibrant Actors in a Multi-Party Democracy”.

It was organized by the IEA with support from the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD).

Source: GNA