Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Choosing The Best Candidate As Ghana's President In 2016 To Fight High-Level Corruption

The voracious appetite for cash that most large political political parties have is one of the leading causes of high-level corruption in Ghana.
It corrupts the system - and puts such political parties firmly in the grip of vested interests in our country. If society throws the spotlight on the murky world of party financing, it will diminish the power and influence of vested interests.

Both the ruling National Democratic  Congress (NDC), and Ghana's largest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), for instance, more or less receive money from virtually the same funding sources.

The individuals and business entities that fund both political parties, seek a continuation of the corrupt and dysfunctional system, which enables them to increase their wealth in such spectacular fashion. And that is the source of most of our nation's woes.

It is for that reason that the younger generation must look for an alternative to both the NDC and the NPP - as the corrupt and dysfunctional system on which the two parties depend can never be reformed if either of them holds power in Ghana. Yet Ghana's system needs reforming.

The only way for Ghana to progress in such fashion that every strata of society prospers, is for Ghana to become a meritocracy that is underpinned by an efficient, transparent and accountable system - which encourages competition and discourages cronyism: at both grassroots level (by electing district chief executives) and at the national level.

As presently structured, and led, neither the NDC nor the NPP can deliver such a reformed system. Alas, they are both beholden to the very vested interests holding back our nation from prospering, as a result of their corrupt nature. Ghana is in need of real change. Urgently.

Only political parties that are transparent about their sources of funding, which are led by world-class politicians prepared to publicly publish their assets and those of their spouses - before and after their tenure - can deliver a reformed system that is virtually impossible to corrupt because it is transparent: not opaque and Byzantine as is presently the case.

In searching for an alternative to the NDC/NPP duopoly, what must be the guiding principle that informs the choices younger generation Ghanaians make? They must learn lessons from the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections.

"Deeds, not words",  ought to be the operative phrase that points young Ghanaians in the direction of a good home for their political loyalties. They must look to the followers of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah - an honest, dynamic and visionary leader whose legacy we can see all around us across the nation.

In that regard, if the most transparent political party and the most transparent presidential candidate in the 2012  presidential and parliamentary elections - the Progressive People's Party (PPP) and its presidential candidate, Dr. Nduom - had been elected to power in 2012,  Ghana would definitely be a better place today.

What are some of the key factors that they must take into account, when Ghana's young generation decide which parties and candidates to vote for, in the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections? As a people we will always progress if we are led by transparent politicians and political parties.

To begin with, Ghana's young generation must make sure that they do not vote for any presidential candidate, whose party fails to publicly publish the sources of all the funds used in its election campaign. To fight high-level corruption, the right choice for Ghana, is a presidential candidate whose party is transparent about its sources of funding.

Young Ghanaians must also not vote for any presidential candidate who either fails to publicly publish  his or her assets, and that of his or her spouse, or who when compliant does not do so in time for verification by the Auditor General and  the Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, before  the day of the 2016 presidential election.

From what we have witnessed thus far since 1993, clearly, the right choice for the nation in 2016, will be the selection of a presidential candidate who is a world-class individual with a track record of creating thousands of jobs - and has achieved great success in business and thus knows how to create wealth - who will willingly publicly publish his or her assets as well as those of his or her spouse, well before the day of the election.

That is the kind of leader who will be immune to the blandishments of the vested interests eroding society's moral fabric with never-ending corruption.

In electing such a presidential  candidate as president in 2016 Ghanaians will be choosing the right leader to help reform our opaque and Byzantine system and lead the fight against high-level corruption - prerequisites if we are to become a prosperous nation and an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

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