31.08.2005 General News

Abuse of incumbency must be checked -Jonah

By jfm
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The Head of Governance at the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA, Kwesi Jonah says the Odododiodio bye-election showcased a form of abuse of incumbency that must be critically examined and addressed.

In the run up to the bye-election, the provision of a number of development projects was accelerated.

A number of streetlights were erected whilst some roads were also tarred.

Although the ruling NPP explained that these were projects already planned for the area, the opposition parties disputed this, saying that they were meant to induce the electorate to vote for the NPP's candidate.

Speaking on JOY Fm Mr. Jonah said the issue had always characterized Ghana's politics and doubts if it will stop any time soon.

“ They wait until there is an election around the corner to put in substantial state resources into providing social amenities for the constituency. You are placing your self at an unfair advantage over your opponent and this should not be allowed.

All political parties should get together to address this problem. We don't know when another by election will come. We don't wish another MP to die but since we don't have control over our lives there could be another by-election and we don't want to see these things happen,” he said.

According to Mr. Jonah aggrieved political parties could lodge a complaint to the committee that deals with matters of abuse of incumbency.

He however pointed out that the unfortunate thing about it is that the current political parties' code of conduct does not deal with this type of abuse of incumbency that was exhibited during the Odododiodio bye-election.

“The party that feels affected or that feels disadvantages should make a complain to the political parties code of conduct mechanism so that the issue can be looked at carefully. And this particular form of abuse of incumbency ha snot been dealt with the code of conduct,” he said.

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