Mr Peter Mac Manu, former Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has advocated for the creation of the Office of Registrar of Political Parties to regulate political parties, to ensure full compliance with the law.
He said Ghana needs a different arm to oversee the activities of political parties; which would oversee the registration, the activities and cancellation of political parties.
Mr Mac Manu made the suggestion in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the side-line of the ongoing 70th Annual New Year School and Conference at the University of Ghana.
He said the Electoral Commission (EC) currently had the responsibility of supervising the activities, programmes and organisation of political parties in the country; however, the EC had a huge task of supervising its core business of elections, elections monitoring and elections supervision countrywide of all public elections.
He noted that this gives them at least time to concentrate on the duties of supervising political parties.
“As the Political Parties Act says they should also be submitting their financial statements to the EC. There has been a gap in that area of our political spectrum.
“We need to have a different arm as in other countries to overseer the entire duties and obligations of political parties; so that anytime they go wayward, they would be straightened or brought back to book,” Mr Mac Manu said.
Mr Mac Manu, who is also the Board Chairman of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) recounted that for the past 26 years that the fourth republic came into being, he had never seen the EC disciplining or cancelling any political party’s license, but many of them had gone wayward; adding that perhaps they don’t the time to do that.
“We are suggesting that a Registrar of Political Parties to oversee solely the activities, the registration and the cancellation of political parties must come into being to ensure that political parties go according to the rules of the game and what the constitution says,” he said.
Mr Mac Manu said, “it is happening in Kenya and Sierra Leone and I don’t see any reason why it could not happen in Ghana.”
The 70th Annual New Year School and Conference, on the theme: “Building Strong Institutions for Democratic Consolidation in Ghana,” is being organised by the School of Continuing and Distance Education of the College of Education and the University of Ghana, in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
It is being attended by over 300 participants, including Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), assembly members, academia, policy makers, civil society organisations, labour unions and political parties.