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EC must put time limit on political campaigns – Mac Manu

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A former National Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Peter Mac Manu, has called for a time limit on political campaigns in the country.

He said that would enable elected governments ample time to implement their policies and programmes for national development. It would also reduce the financial burden imposed on political parties and would-be candidates by long-term campaigns.

The former Chairman of the NPP gave the suggestion at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences’ annual public forum on the theme: National Elections in Ghana: Issues and Prospects.

Mr Manu, who was speaking on the topic: “Regulating Campaign Financing for National Elections: A Comparative Perspective”, said the current campaign period in the country was too long, giving elected governments no respite to effectively implement their policies.

“I think in this country we used to say that the next elections begin after the end of the last election. How can you campaign for four years? Mr Manu, therefore, proposed that campaigns should only begin when the Electoral Commission (EC) had received and approved an aspirant’s candidature, making them eligible to contest the elections.

“So, if the EC has not approved your candidature, you may win your party’s parliamentary or presidential primaries, but you are not a candidate,” he said.  

“So, for me, the day that the EC will approve your nomination, in the current circumstances, that is September 19, that’s when you become a candidate, that’s when you can call your campaign. But that is not the case and I think this is an area we have to look at because we can’t spend four years campaigning.”

“And I’m happy that a group like the Ghana Bar Association has made this call. Our campaign periods are too long and we have to shorten it. In fact, in Nigeria, it’s six months, in Kenya, it’s six months, but in Ghana, if I may say, it’s four years,” he said.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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