POLITICAL ECONOMY OF MONETIZATION IN GHANA
Ghana’s democracy is touted as a leading example in Africa. Since the inception of the Fourth Republic, the country has successfully organized seven presidential and parliamentary elections and alternated power between the two major political parties in the country without any major hiccups. However, this democratic gain has not translated into the expected democratic values and development dividends. The emergence of the growth of use of money in the nation’s electoral politics is undermining multiparty representative democracy in the country. Since the 2004 presidential and parliamentary elections, the country has witnessed significant rise in this negative trend which poses serious threat to the integrity of the elections. It also threatens the credibility of the election outcomes as the true reflection of the will of the people.
Between 2012 and 2016 the cost of running for parliamentary office increased by 59%. This includes an average increase in party primaries expenditure by 27% and that of parliamentary elections by 90% (Asante and Kunnath,2018). Indeed, the Asantehene acknowledged as much when he said: ‘politics has become the shortest route to riches and people will do whatever is necessary to get there... the practice of occultism is rife in our politics’ (see Daily Guide, 8 December, 2010). In line with the foregoing discussions, this paper seeks to address the concept of monetization in Ghana’s electoral politics focusing on party primaries. The rest of the paper will cover the concept, evidence, party financing, disenchantment by the public and proposals towards demonetizing electoral politics.