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15.11.2007 Politics

DPP drags parties, institutions to court

By GNA


The Democratic People's Party (DPP) has filed a writ at the High Court against two institutions for providing funding for four political parties.

The institutions are the Dutch Institute of Multi-Party Democracy (IMD) and the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).

The four political parties are the People's National Congress (PNC), Convention People's Party (CPP), National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).

In statement of claim the plaintiff said, "the Dutch IMD-IEA funding for the four registered political parties is illegal and unlawful as it violates section 24 and 25 of the Political parties Law 2000 (Act 574)".

The statement said the Political Parties Law prohibited foreign funding of registered political parties and it affected the receiver or the recipients, the provider or the financier of the funds.

It also affected the facilitator, person or institution serving as conduit or channel for passing on the foreign funds to the registered political parties.

The writ, which was jointly filed by Mr Thomas Ward-Brew and Mr Gyebi Mensah Tettey stated that the activities of the Dutch IMD-IEA discriminated against the remaining registered political parties and undermined transparency and the existence of the principle of level playing field.

It stated that there were over 10 political parties at the moment but the Dutch Institute of Multi-Party Democracy had set up a scheme for funding only the four registered parties.

It said since July 2003, the Dutch IMD-IEA had provided several attractive facilities and packages to the four registered political parties running into millions of cedis.

It said in the breach of the law, three conspicuous culprits were identified - the providers of the funds, the beneficiary political parties and the facilitators or conduit through which the funds moved from providers to beneficiaries.

“This introduces unfairness into our electoral process and brings manipulation into the system. And also violates the Political Parties Law 2000 (Act 574) and any violation should not be countenanced as it is against the national interest.”

The plaintiff claimed the four registered political parties should be made to refund to the Electoral Commission the money they had unlawfully received from the scheme and money spent on them from its inception up to date.

It also recommended that the four political parties that were in breach of the provisions of the law should be sanctioned as long as they continued to receive and retain the foreign contributions directly or indirectly.

They are also claiming general damages to compensate them for the hardships the “unlawful activities” of the Dutch IMD-IEA had caused them and be paid interest at the prevailing bank rate.

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