The Member of Parliament (MP) for Asante Akim North, Hon Andy Kwame Appiah-Kubi has criticized the growing spate of monetization of politics at the party level, saying it makes the venture unattractive.
He spilt his worry to the press after he won his bid to run again on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the upcoming Parliamentary election of the country.
Unlike it is assumed, the lawmaker said the position of an MP is not profitable as returns are not made after being elected into office.
He wants the NPP’s criteria for the selection of a candidate for primaries reviewed.
“Monetization which is coming into politics is making politics unattractive and I tell you and sound this warning: if this is the way we are going to go all out, next time, I’m not competing because it’s not worth spending all these kinds of money and not getting anything back. Unfortunately, people think that when you go to Parliament you get the money.
“The converse is the truth. It is the exact opposite. If you come to Parliament and don’t have any profession, you will not be able to succeed in Parliament and most of our people are losing because they didn’t have the capacity and the financial resources to contest. Some of us have come through because of our professional earnings. We can’t continue to earn monies in our profession and come and damp them in politics.”
He suggested, “We need to select people who have the capacity, competence, interest and the energy to go to Parliament. We don’t have to pick anybody to go to Parliament. I cannot be a mason, I cannot be a carpenter but I can be a lawyer. So if you look at my competence, place me where I belong. Don’t allow it to be an open enterprise where everybody without any preparation at all will come in and because he has blood money, he throws the money about to become MP. Then he comes to Parliament and cannot perform.”
This brings back the conversation about the monetization of Ghanaian politics.
In an address about the worrying trend, Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin said the country’s “elections have been reduced to a farce, open auction, where the highest bidder wins”.
A study by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) found that US$693,000, the equivalent of GHC4 million, is needed to fund a parliamentary campaign.
The state of politics has also been found to be attracting illicit funding sources which are inarguably not in the interest of the country.
Some have suggested that state funding of politics is a suitable panacea to the monetization of politics.