May 9, 2011

The Member of Parliament for Okere, Dan Kweku Botwe has reignited the debate on state funding of Political Parties, saying it is the best way to cut down on corruption and inefficiencies in governance.

Speaking on Joy Fm’s current affairs programme,News File,Mr. Botwe stated that the act of funding political parties is practiced in other parts of Africa like Tanzania, adding when political parties are stated-funded, they will no longer have to be dependent on the government of the day for financial support.

“It is important that the state funds political parties, and when that is done, professionals will be attracted to work in political parties and these professionals can best supervise the government of the day at the party level,” he said.

He also added that it is only political parties which can check their governments first, and that inefficient governments can be changed at the party level, but that can only happen if there are people who can have the will to point out to the government of day where she is going wrong.

Deputy Minister of Tourism, James Agyenim Boateng also added his voice to the call for state funding of political parties, saying political parties ought to be given the oxygen in terms of resources in order to grow and work well.

He called for commitment and sincerity on the issue of state funding of political parties since political parties in opposition usually call for it but the language seems to change when the party gets into power.

Stating the NDC’S views, the Deputy Minister indicated that the NDC was in support of this call but pointed out however that the right mechanism must be put in place to ensure equitable distribution of the funds in order to create a level playing field for all parties involved.

Another panelist on the programme, Dr.Josiah Aryeh was also in support of the idea, saying that was the only way to go if we want to have a mature democracy.

Dr. Aryeh cautioned that when political parties rely on what he described as “cabals and cliques within the party who think they are the cash men and money bags and that without them nothing can happen. It breeds corruption and in order to rid political parties of these so called money bags, the state should fund political parties since the absence of them will minimize corruption.”

Egbert Fabille jnr. another panelist on the programme was however against the funding of political parties saying they have not shown enough financial discipline in order to get funding from the state for their activities.

He however suggested that political parties be given some sort of logistics such as printing of party t-shirts and banners but not given cash as they will fail to account for them.

Source: Hitz FM