Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has since 1992 been the product of elective politics that ensured that as of 2020, he was the longest-serving Member of Parliament in Ghana.
The former Nadowli-Kaleo MP is, however, worried about the cost of elections which he describes as ‘colossal.’
He averred in an interview on GBC late last year that despite the very expensive nature of elections, unconscionable politicking means that Ghanaians are still being given a raw deal by politicians.
“We have successfully held a number of elections but the cost to the nation has been colossal. At almost every election, the cost of the election process is unheard of anywhere in the world.
“Ghanaian elections are very expensive, in spite of all that, because of the nature of the politics of patronage, cooptation, lack of values and principles, we still see at the exercise of the right to vote, people are being dishonest and that leads to violence,” he said on the Moomeen Tonight show.
The Speaker revealed that there was the need to address the degenerating nature of politics, to which end Parliament under his leadership is liaising with civil society to work on legislation to deal with funding and financing of political parties and campaigns.
Ghana needs to “stop wasting huge billions of Ghana cedis wasted to nothingness.” He holds that the current Parliament is doing its work of keeping the executive in check as should be the case adding that other institutions of governance – especially the judiciary – must also be properly resourced to make it independent.
Cost of 2020 elections
Michael Boadu, Director for Training at the Electoral Commission in May 2021 disclosed that the cost per voter in the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections was about GH¢40.78, translating to USD7.7.
This he said was a reduction of almost about half of the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections, which was about GH¢70, thus 13 dollars, per voter.
According to him, the Commission made a total savings of GH¢523,409,980 or $90,243,100.
He said the reduction in the cost was achieved through stringent steps taken by the Commission to ensure transparent and fair procurement practices.
Mr Boadu said substantial savings were enabled by the procurement methods employed, which saw 95 percent of procurement done by an open-competitive tendering process.
“With the exception of the printing of ballot papers, which had security implications and the production of TV and Radio adverts, all other procurements was done openly through newspapers.”