Some Ghanaians do not know that vote buying is an offense and punishable by law.
This revelation was made by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) and the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO after educating some Ghanaians on voting.
In a statement, the two civil society organizations observed that some Ghanaians do not even understand what voting buying means.
“Most electorates do not understand the concept of vote buying and are not aware that ‘vote buying or selling’ constitutes election fraud and it is punishable by law. The few electorates who understood the concept of vote buying did not know that vote buying is a corrupt practice and that it is punishable by law.”
They also some Ghanaians also believe that voting buying is a normal practice.
“Some electorates were willing to take money or other gifts from politicians but said they would never allow that to influence their votes. Some electorates believe vote buying is a norm and view it as an open competitive market where the highest bidder (a politician who offers highest gift) always wins.”
Analysts of the political terrain have criticized the main political parties in the country, namely, the governing National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Patriotic Party of engaging in vote buying, few days to the December 7 elections.
Though the parties have been cautioned, the practice still persists.
The statement from CODEO and CDD however implored politicians to desist from using “financial and other incentives to induce votes.”
“Vote buying is illegal in Ghana and there are several laws (including electoral laws) that directly and indirectly address vote buying. These laws collectively make it illegal to attempt to buy or induce votes.
The Political Parties Law 2000, ACT 574, and The Representation of the People’s Law, 1992, PNDC Law 284 also make engaging in, and buying and selling of votes in any way punishable by law. Indeed, The Electoral Commission’s voter education brochure “What You Should Know” states clearly vote buying or selling as an electoral offence.”
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