Vote-Buying To Be Criminalized By Passing Bill- Defence Minister
Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiful says the only way to stop the unfortunate practice of vote buying by politicians which is growing at a rapid phase is to pass a Bill to criminalize the said act.
In the opinion of Mr. Nitiful, that is the only way to curb that problem.
Ghana needs a special Bill which classifies the practice of vote-buying during elections as a crime.
Upon being asked whether the use of delegates to win elections by politicians was a good system, the Defence Minister said, the problem rather was with having to pay or influence delegates with monetary gifts and materials to be voted for.
He revealed that, though there were some smaller laws which prohibit monetizing elections, it would be complete to absolutely stop the problem of vote-buying only if a Bill was passed to stop the practice fully.
Mr. Nitiful opined thus “We need to grow a little bit in politics. We’ve just done less than 30 years of democracy. I think we have to grow a little bit. Let us continue to have the delegate system for now. What we should do which we are not doing is to sponsor a Bill to make it a crime to use money to influence people. Already, the electoral laws have it, but we should have a specific law. South Africa has a law like that.”
“You cannot give more than 10% of your salary to an individual and not have an explanation for why you gave that person that money during an election period, whether at the party primary or general election. It’s not about the delegates choosing. It’s about the practice that the politicians engage in. If I cannot explain why I gave someone GH¢1,000, I should be questioned. We need a specific Act that says this is forbidden.”
The unfortunate practice of vote-buying isn’t new in politics but the recent was the just ended NPP Parliamentary primaries which went overboard and got lot of people condemning it vehemently.
Dominic Nitiful is also the Member of Parliament for Bimbilla.