A document that seeks to lay the foundation for the funding of political parties, especially during elections, is currently being put together by the Financial Accountability Transparency-Africa (FAT- Africa), a civil society organisation. The document, which is currently at its stage of validation, will also spell out how political parties had financed their operations over the past years. When completed, the document would be released to all political parties in Ghana and other relevant agencies and institutions that play roles in the country’s election organisation. At a forum in Accra, the acting Executive Director of FAT-Africa, Mrs Elizabeth Nkrumah, said the document would address all issues relating to the financing of political parties in Ghana. “It will also compare how some political parties in developed countries, particularly the United State of America (USA), go about in financing their operations,” she said. Giving some of the reasons why FAT-Africa decided to undertake the project, Mrs Nkrumah said the financing of political parties in Ghana had become a major issue, considering the fact that many Ghanaians “do not know how parties generate finances to fund their activities.” She said many political parties, particularly the incumbent government, “spend a lot of money to undertake their operations but fail to disclose the sources.” “In many developed countries, there are specific guidelines that political parties are expected to follow in seeking finances to undertake their activities. We do not have such in place in Ghana,” Mrs Nkrumah said. Consultant for the project Outlining some of the areas that would be captured in the document, the Head of the Finance Department at the University of Ghana Business School, Prof. Godfred Bokpin, said the document would focus on how political parties generate their funds. “It will touch on all the areas they have in time past used to get funds for their activities,” he added. Prof. Bokpin, one of the consultants of the project, mentioned voluntary contributions of party members, membership dues and levies and appeal for funds as some ways political parties raise finances for their activities. “These are the ones we all know but the major funds come from other sources. Political parties run on money and whoever gives them money has a stake in their governance,” he said. The Programme Manager, FAT-Africa, Mr Francis Darko Asare, called for transparency and accountability in the funding of political parties in Ghana. He said Ghanaian voters had the right to know how parties were funded in order to make informed choices and added that funding political parties in Ghana remained unregulated. He declared that "money that comes to political parties for their campaigns and day-to-day running are unlimited, undisclosed and unknown." "There are severe costs and consequences for the current state of affairs that affect both our nation and even the political parties themselves," Mr Asare added.
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