Chief Executive of the JAK Foundation Prof. Baffour Agyemang Duah is suggesting a special taxation to help fund future general elections in Ghana. He explained that as the country’s democracy and its electoral systems mature, donors may reduce or cease funding for elections.
Prof. Agyemang Duah thus warned of dire consequences if Ghana does not wean itself off donor funding of these expensive democratic endeavour.
He spoke to XYZ News after presiding over the launch of two outcome reports by the Interfaith Cooperation Project for the 2016 elections put together under the auspices of the National Catholic Secretariat with support from STAR-Ghana earlier today here in Accra.
“And for me because elections have become a permanent feature of our lives, because every four years by constitutional fiat we have to do it; but every four years the Electoral Commissioner has to go and beg, go and make a plea at the Ministry of Finance when we know that it’s [election] going to come.” Prof Agyemang Duah said.
He added that: “so, I think that we need to establish an ‘Elections Fund’ through some small taxation placed on alcholic beverages or something, so that we can create a pool and every four years the Electoral Commission doesn’t have to go and beg for money from donors as well as from our government”.
He further noted that creating a statutory fund to finance elections could also help finance civil society organisations to better carry out their roles during elections. Prof. Agyemang cited the GETFUND and NHIS as examples of what he meant.
The reports by the Interfaith Cooperation Project for the election 2016 – charged government to empower religious leaders to undertake proactive programs to avert tensions not only during elections but even after the electioneering season.
At the launch was the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission Madam Charlotte Osei. While acknowledging the contribution of the Interfaith Cooperation Project for their contributions in the just ended elections, she indicated that not all observations could be true.
The report among others recommended that the role of faith groups, especially working together, must be explored in other elections like District Assembly and Primaries of Political Parties to select their frontrunners. This is expected to minimize the degree of tensions, rancor and conflicts often associated with these events.
Please find attached the full reports
By: Joe Bright Nyarko