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16.02.2005 Politics

Parties need fund raising activities

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Accra, Feb 16, GNA - Political Parties were on Wednesday advised to adopt more vigorous strategies of fund raising to enable them to secure enough money for their programmes and activities.

Mr. Charles Wiafe Akenten, a Lead Researcher at the University of Ghana, gave the advice at a day's workshop to dialogue on a research that was carried out on the two leading political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Representatives from some donor communities, the Electoral Commission, all the Political Parties, the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) and the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) were also to share ideas on how best to enhance the activities of the various parties to make them more vibrant and competitive in the race towards good governance.

Mr Wiafe Akenten said the research conducted by the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) found out that though both political parties had clearly defined structures including constitutions, membership and positions, they lacked fund raising skills.

It often made them to solely dependant on membership dues and funds raised during campaign periods.

He therefore, recommended that permanent positions for fund raising personnel be set up for continuous organization of funding to support the programmes and policies of parties, instead of their over dependence on membership dues.

He also urged the various political parties to insist on ownership of membership cards for proper documentation and be able to monitor the income that accrued to them from dues.

"Whereas the membership of a political party may seem very large, their income on dues may be very small due to the fact that most people may not be card holding members," he said.

Mr Wiafe Akenten further urged the various political parties to give some form of quotas to women and the youth, where they would be supported and encouraged to actively participate in the party's programmes and contest for positions at the national level.

He commended the various political parties for their active role in the current peaceful democratic dispensation which had earned the country an enviable position among countries in the sub region and urged them to do more to sustain the process.

Dr Per Nordlund, Senior Programme Officer for Political Parties, IDEA attributed the restriction of the research to the two leading political parties to funding problems.

He explained after the other political parties had raised concerns as to the criteria for selecting the two leading parties that the research project was being organized in 40 other countries, which placed great restrictions on their budget.

Dr Nordlund however, acknowledged all the concerns raised by the representatives of the various political parties and said future precautions would be taken to extend such programmes to them.

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