Understanding the nature of funding political parties in Ghana: challenges and implications

This research project seeks to understand the nature of funding political parties in Ghana and how it affects democratic politics. Political parties are the core of modern representative democracy. Multi-party democratic politics in Ghana dates back to the late 1940s. The process through which political parties mobilise funds for their electoral activities has been recognized as an essential ingredient of consolidating multi-party democratic politics.

Major stakeholders of Ghana’s multi-party democracy are increasingly becoming alarmed at a growing tendency of Ghana’s political parties to reward wealthy party financiers with the decision-making offices within the political parties and Government. It is crucial that the nature of funding political parties is understood by stakeholders, and appropriate public policies initiated to help promote good democratic politics in Ghana.

The research project in Ghana will examine the nature of funding political parties, the role of the institutional framework in promoting plutocratic politics, and policy recommendations made by stakeholders about how best to finance political parties to promote good governance. It is hoped that the research output will influence the development of appropriate policies and institutions to cure the problem of plutocracy in Ghana’s multi-party democratic system.

This project is a direct response to expressions of interest in the making of a policy to govern the funding of political parties in Ghana. Particularly since the country’s return to multi-party democracy in 1992, such expressions of interests have come from political parties within and outside Ghana’s Parliament, the Electoral Commission of Ghana, Civil Society Organizations (such as CDD-Ghana and IDEG), and some international development partners.

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