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‘Galamsey’ cash contributes $100M in Presidential campaign

A study by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, (CDD-Ghana) has found that it cost US$ 100 million to effectively fund a presidential campaign in Ghana.

In addition, an amount of US$ 693,000, the equivalent of GH¢4 million, is required to prosecute a parliamentary campaign.

The study was conducted in four out of the 16 regions.

The last time such a survey was conducted, the cost of running for Parliament was pegged at US$ 85,000.

Various stakeholders over the period have questioned the increasing incidence of monetization of politics in Ghana.

“We found that half of this GH¢4 million money partly goes into nursing the constituency and running in the primaries. These estimates were given by people who have been part of the presidential campaigns. Further research is however needed to itemize the cost to know exactly what goes into the amount. Gender dynamics of the high cost of politics and campaign financing reveal exclusionary effects on women candidates’ ability to raise funds. The women are even disadvantaged if they are married”, the Lead Consultant for the study, William Nyarko, said.

Candidates’ sources of funding include personal savings, loans, family, special interests, friends, and business financiers.

The distribution channels of campaign financing funds were identified as direct distribution to the candidates, political parties through the party, and regional chairpersons through the various levels and heads of the parties’ finance and fundraising committees.

The study also identified nine financiers of political parties and candidate campaigns, who were allegedly engaged in illicit activities, which included activities of Serious and Organized Crime (SOC) as follows: Illegal mining/galamsey, illegal oil distribution (bunkering), fraudulent business, and procurement infractions and its associated kickbacks from the award of contracts.

Objectives of study 

  1. Conduct a detailed study of why and how illicit money fuels campaign financing in Ghana.
  2. Understanding the role of money in Ghanaians politics.
  3. Make recommendations for reform of campaign financing.
  4. Mapping and differentiating different types of illicit money.
  5. Investigating the influence of illicit money in Ghana’s political campaign financing.

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