Four political parties in the country have dismissed the report contained in the 2013 Global Corruption Barometer that sought to place political parties second on the list of perceived corrupt institutions in Ghana.
According to the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the People’s National Convention (PNC), “perceived corrupt practices alleged to have been caused by individuals or public officers who happen to be members of political parties do not, by extension, make these parties corrupt”.
This was contained in a joint statement issued at a press conference organised by the general secretaries of the NDC, the NPP, the CPP and the PNC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Mr Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet and Mr Bernard Monarh, respectively, in Accra yesterday.
The statement, read by Mr Greenstreet, noted that, “Political parties are separate entities governed by the laws of Ghana in general and the political parties’ law in particular.”
“We fail to see how alleged perceived corruption of a handful of individuals can be misinterpreted in such a way as to taint the administration of our respective organisations,” it said.
It said although the leadership of the political parties accepted that society continued to suffer from corruption, “we want to know whether those who framed the questions for this survey made a clear distinction between political parties as institutions and individuals”.
The statement said the image of political parties in Ghana had, over the past years, been tarnished by reports that failed to differentiate between political parties as institutions and the individuals who belonged to those political parties.
“The effect of this survey is to compromise public confidence in political parties, thereby undermining the entire democratic process,” it said.
It noted that it was unfair for institutions such as civil society groups to stain the image of political parties, in spite of the indispensable role the parties played in the quest to strengthen democratic governance.
Asked why the four political parties had to wait months after the report had been released before releasing a press statement, Mr Nketia said the general secretaries of the parties had to consult their leadership first.
He said the leadership of all the four political parties, prior to the elections, had always kicked against corrupt practices.
However, he said, a major issue that had contributed to the poor image of political parties in the country was the media focus on “turning political parties against one another”.
For his part, Mr Owusu-Afriyie said the report cited the distribution of motorbikes to individuals as a form of corruption.
“Giving party members resources to do a campaign for you or money to run errands for the party does not make such a gesture a corrupt practice,” he said.