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03.09.2004 General News

Craze for money should not replace democracy

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Kumasi, Sept. 3, GNA - Professor S.K.B. Asante, a member of the Ghana Governance Council of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), has said that if the alleged corruption that had so far characterised the parliamentary primaries of the political parties recently was not checked and nipped in the bud, the country's democracy could suffer set backs.

"Our Parliament would soon be inundated with inexperienced persons and semi-literates who cannot make any meaningful inputs into the country's democratic dispensation," he observed.

The practice of what he described as "money craze" would also deprive Parliament of credible and vibrant parliamentarians, who could effectively champion the cause and aspirations of the constituents. Professor Asante, who is also a Retired Diplomat, was speaking at a day's sensitisation workshop organised by the APRM Governance Council in Ghana in collaboration with Child Research for Action Development Agency (CRADA) and Child Rights International (CRI), both nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) for selected youth and children in the Kumasi Metropolis on Friday.

It was held on the theme: "The Role Of The Youth And Children In The Implementation Of APRM Process In Ghana."

The workshop was aimed at ensuring young people's participation in the implementation of the APRM process in Ghana.

It was also to assess how the youth saw the performance and progress of the nation in democratic and political governance, economic governance and management, corporate governance in both the private and public sectors and the socio-economic development of the nation.

Professor Asante cautioned that since vote buying defied democratic principles, the electorate should not allow themselves to be bought by self-seeking politicians, stressing that Africa's fundamental problem was political, and urged governments to strive to exhibit accountability and transparency in ensuring good governance.

Professor S.K. Adjepong, Chairman of the APRM Governance Council in Ghana, noted that the APRM was not a tool to evaluate the performance of one particular government but the country as a whole and called on civil society, corporate bodies and the citizenry to give the mechanism its full support to ensure its successful implementation.

He said that was an attempt to open a new chapter in the history of Africa, so as to redeem the Continent's image, the APRM had been instituted to serve as guiding principles for successive governments.