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Bagbin makes strong case for funding of political parties

Majority Leader in Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has rekindled the debate about the need for the state to sponsor political parties, explaining that smaller political parties are struggling to contribute their quota effectively to multi-party democracy.

Mr. Bagbin argued that once the country has taken the path of multi-party democracy, the state ought to play a part in the development of political parties because several of them are not as strong as the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The majority leader indicated that a lot of political parties struggle to survive because Ghanaians generally view political parties as private enterprises.

“…In this country, we think political parties are private enterprises and so the people who are members of it fund everything in the party. The other small parties are struggling to survive.”

This should not be the case in Mr. Bagbin’s opinion, as he feels the state should be playing an active role in the workings of the smaller political parties.

“When you opt for multi-party democracy, which is the decision of the country, the state must be part and parcel of what happens in those parties.”

He further called for a rethink of the status-quo saying, “I think that that we need to rethink the concept of multiparty democracy and I believe that the state should have a role in the health of the parties of the country. I presented a paper at Legon recently where I urged the country to talk about funding of political parties or campaigns.”

Mr. Bagbin suggested that the state could fund the research units of the smaller parties, provide technical assistance and even fund some of their campaigns adding that, “All these things help improve the quality of the national discourse and the quality of the manifestoes and policies that parties and governments churn out.”

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