Former President John Dramani Mahama has called for the amendment of Article 86 and 87 to have an entrenched provision of comprehensive long term developmental plan.
The Article 86 and 87 talks about the National Development Planning Commission and its functions.
The former President was speaking at a Public Lecture on the theme: “Financing Political Campaign in the Ghana we want: A case for a more transparent and broad-based citizen participation,” in Accra.
According to him, this plan will bind all successive governments so that no one will have the power to stop a project initiated by his or her predecessor.
This, he said, will curtail the uncoordinated approach to the long-term development and policy making.
He made reference to the forty years national development plan that his administration developed during their tenure of office, but was jettisoned as soon as they left office in 2017.
The former President further emphasised the need for reforms in the financing of political parties to deepen the country’s democracy.
For him, ethical political financing had been one area in the country’s democratic journey that had continued to elude reform, adding that the dependency on a few individuals who financed political campaigns in return for favours was a recipe for corruption.
One of the reforms, he advocated, was public financing of political activities which must be accompanied by a Public Funding of Political Parties Bill.
He also advocated for the enforcement of the law that forbids foreigners from making financial contributions to political campaigns and requiring political parties to disclose their sources of funding.
The former president also emphasised the significance of the state increasing its support for political parties, noting their importance in advancing and maintaining the nation’s democracy.
Mr. Mahama, however, noted that the current financial difficulties facing the country would make it very difficult for the state to increase support to political parties.
“Ghana today is broke. International credit rating agencies have placed us in junk status. Additional state financing can, therefore, not be a viable option on the table,” he said.
He said in the event the country was well-resourced to make the state fund political parties, there was the need for such support to be done in a “bipartisan and inclusive manner”.
“I further recommend that should public funding of political parties be scaled up in the foreseeable future, then an independent and credible institution must be selected to administer the state resources advanced to political parties.
“In that regard, a sharing formula could be established to ensure fairness and specific disclosure requirements on beneficiary parties. This must be complemented by auditing and publication of party accounts,” he added.
The event brought together leaders of civil society organizations (CSOs), including Prof. H. Kwesi Prempeh, Kwesi Jonah, Dr. Rashid Dramani, and Ben Boakye, as well as members of the business community, including renowned investor, Sir Sam Jonah.
Also present were NDC members including; Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, the party’s most recent running mate; Dr. James Klutse Avedzi, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, and Sylvester Mensah.