Mr Joseph Whittal, Chairman, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has advocated for the creation of the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) to regulate their activities in line with the Constitution.
He said adopting the ORPP by Ghana, just as it pertains in other countries, would take off some burdens (such as registration of political parties, granting them certificate and inspecting their audit statement of accounts) from the shoulders of the Electoral Commission (EC).
“The EC is certainly overburdened with all public elections and referenda and so to add a regulator of political parties or as we call them ‘Registrar of Political Parties in other countries, I think it is an over-do,” Mr Whittal said at the launch of the Citizens’ Anti-Corruption Manifesto (CACM).
“I am aware of other countries in Africa, who have an independent political parties’ registrar responsible for ensuring registration of political parties, granting them certificates, going through their audit statement of accounts and making sure that they obey the laws.”
He cited that Papua New Guinea, a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean, had a political parties’ registrar, which was independent of their Electoral Commission; declaring that other countries in Africa have got it too.
“So, if the evidence shows that for a long time the EC has not being able to activate that aspect of its role, we must be thinking of having it off and giving it to an independent body that will handle that aspect very well.”
He said while Ghanaians were seeking to address the standing issue of political parties’ campaign financing, they should also be looking at the structure that would take care of it.
The CACM report, was compiled by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), with funding from STAR-Ghana Foundation.
It is aimed at making combating corruption a key election issue in 2020 and thereby improve Ghana’s anticorruption performance in subsequent years.
Mrs Beauty Emefa Narteh, the Executive Secretary of the GACC, expressed the hope that political parties would embrace the issues identified by citizens and be guided by the broad recommendations to fashion out their own specific approach to addressing corruption in Ghana.