An independent presidential aspirant, Mr Marricke Kofi Gane, has appealed to voters to elect independent candidates in the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections to spearhead the transformation of the country.
He said the time was ripe for the country to abandon the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) which had dominated the country’s political space under the Fourth Republic and take on a new course under a more inclusive government that could propel rapid development.
“The party system has not been helpful largely because it’s become a system of peerage, so if we all push you and you go, it doesn’t matter if the person is capable or incapable, once I am part of the party that got you there, you have to make sure we are appointed into the system; so people who don’t deserve to be in certain positions are in the positions because they made the most noise during political campaigns or belong to a certain political party,” he said.
Mr Gane, who announced his decision to contest this year’s election as an independent candidate in 2019, was speaking at the launch of his campaign and manifesto at the Alisa Hotel in Accra yesterday.
Mr Gane said when elected, he would ensure that there was transparency in the governance system right from the appointment stage.
“I don’t intend to appoint 125 ministers in my government. I will have less than 50 ministers,” he said.
He explained that although the 1992 Constitution required that 50 per cent of the ministers appointed should come from Parliament, being an independent candidate would afford him the space to appoint qualified and competent individuals into such critical positions without thinking of their political colours.
Touching on transparency in the funding of political campaigns, Mr Gane said there was the need to cap the amount that could be spent on political campaigns to help eliminate corruption resulting from bloated expenditure.
“We know on what basis to find these persons accountable. If you are told that your total spending to run a constituency is GH¢500,000, then from the get-go, we can begin to track those aspiring MPs for accountability because we know what a GH¢100,000 can do. So if we see them doing something more than what the approved money can do, then we can decide to ask them to make themselves accountable to the people they intend to lead,” he said.
Mr Gane noted that he was a strong proponent for the capping of political funding because that was a way to solve all “our entitlements for the political status quo that we find ourselves in”.
Among the many interventions he intends to implement when elected, which covers education, health, agriculture and youth development, Mr Gane said he would focus on decentralisation to help drive development from the local level.
“Currently, decentralisation is largely political, and it is insulting to anybody who is involved in development, to say the least, that is not decentralisation. For me, decentralisation means apart from political power and administrative power in the regions, they should have some leverage of some levels of financial power for themselves, because if you cannot raise money, you cannot revolve a decentralised region,” he said.
To achieve that, Mr Gane, who said he was working with a team of accomplished citizens based home and abroad, said “we want to highlight a few regions where we can ensure that the right people are employed to head those regions, not people who have made the most campaign promises or people who have sponsored campaigns. We want to bring professionals, people who have managed entire regions”.
“If we do this and allow them to fund and raise their own money, and also develop their own development plans and implement, then we can begin to see the power of decentralisation,” he said.