Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako has expressed worry about the intensity of pretense and two-facedness in Ghanaian politics.
According to him, the integrity of the country’s democracy risks being utterly destroyed if some urgent measures aren’t put in place to fix the falling foundations.
His comments come on the back of recent debates surrounding the ‘high’ filing fees of flagbearer aspirants in the National Democratic Congress. Mr. Baako wondered how that politicians are able to generate monies for themselves for their own party agendum but suddenly have problems when monies are being demanded from them as filing fees.
He was appalled about the fact that so much noise was made about some ‘GHC420K filing fees’ when the issue of party funding and campaigning has dragged for years without any substantial actions being taken to ensure transparency and openness.
“Too much hypocrisy and double standards going on in our politics and sometimes it’s worrying. Those who are arguing about the quantum of the money and also to that extend, the sources, where the money could be coming from and the danger it poses to the integrity of our democracy, have we asked ourselves where they get their monies from? The political parties. In the absence of very serious alternatives like state or public funding which will not be total, it takes care of certain things, we all know what is going on with these political parties. They take monies left, right, center, local and external. They don’t even put them in their statement of accounts for it to be audited and presented to the EC, we all know it and we’ve been discussing this for twenty something years. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve looked at the scale and coverage of what the NDC intends doing. I think the 420 was okay”, he said.
Mr. Baako further described as ‘politics without principle’, the fact that politicians complain about these issues as and when it is convenient depending on where they stand at a particular point in time. He sees no ‘big deal’ with the proposed filing fees being taken from aspirants considering they all have been in politics and know their way around ‘generating’ money to fund themselves.
Too much hypocrisy, double standards in our politics – Baako
Those aspirants, they are all seasoned politicians. They’ve been in this party for a long time and they know. When it comes to presidential and parliamentary campaign, the monies they spend, it’s no joke they know it. In 1996 elections, they got some cool GHC 5,000, that money came purposely for 1996 elections and Mr. Rawlings is talking about thieves, that those who pay will be considered thieves. Let’s cut out that hypocrisy, we must start discussing party funding, campaign financing in a very legitimate way, open and transparent”.
“Go to the parliamentary records, from 1996 till now, they’ve been debating on this party financing and funding. When they are in government, they don’t want it, it’s a good idea, when they are in opposition, they are pushing it. That unprincipled approach, it’s politics without principle. The same rules for all the parties but particularly the NDC and the NPP”, he further stated.
“They all do it, the 420 they asked to bring, now its 320, beyond that, they are required to bring more and you are the leaders, apart from membership dues, you have leaders of the party looking for money, you have their chief promoters looking for money, they all know that 420 will pay into insignificance during the campaign financing period. They raise about 30 to 40 billion dollars, they know it. Where are they going to get that money from? Where do they get it from? The 420 one, because it is put in the public domain, at least, we can track it and it must be in their statement of account and audited accounts. The rest that they raise, the millions of dollars, we don’t hear about them and we are here complaining about 420”, he also added.
Mr. Baako was speaking on Joynews’ Newsfile program Saturday.