A Parliamentary aspirant seeking to enter the legislature in Ghana should be prepared to cough a little over GHC2million for campaigns and other overhead costs.
The longest-serving lawmaker in Ghana’s parliament and Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, who made the shocking disclosure, noted that ‘moneycracy’ is gradually taking over democracy in the country.
“In our minds political office is private business so young men and women are struggling to be members of the national parliament.
“Your salary is so low it cannot take you up to two weeks and when you join a political party to be a parliamentary candidate and go round to campaign, party members demand money.
“When you pay courtesy calls on chiefs you are supposed to part with something, the resources candidates dole out are supposed to come from their own pockets.
“Situations where they are unable to meet that challenge they rely on ‘money bags’ a term used to describe the sources that fund the campaign.
“When you go to talk to your party members, any of them you approach, they will tell you that you cannot just come and talk to me like that and go away and when you visit the chiefs the courtesy must be followed, your pocket is empty.
“Some people are funding you, you are dolling out to the constituents because they know their bread is buttered when you are in office.
“When you are going around and you are not greasing palms they will vote against you, when you do not organise events and let the drinks, food and music flow you are bound to lose.
“If you don’t visit the community too, they will tell you that you do not respect and will vote against, you don’t have the money and some people are sponsoring.
You spend about two million Ghana cedis to be elected as a member of parliament. Now you are in parliament and it is a call to serve the state, who pays the piper calls the tune.
“Politicians go through this struggle to be elected which is the genesis of corruption, something must be done in order to reverse the trend.
“We can’t fight corruption and when I speak out I am lambasted and insulted, but that is the truth and you cannot take it away.
“I’m charging the President to lead the way in cleansing the system, redefine politics and also reduce the cost of political business in Ghana.