The Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has expressed his disappointment in agents of parliamentary candidates who he said were engaged in acts of inducement during the just-ended Kumawu by-election.
He says the act of electoral ‘clientelism’ and patronage politics that occurred in Kumawu is wrong and must not be allowed to continue.
Speaking to JoyNews on his observations as a polling agent at the Sekyere Kumawu Polling station in the Kumawu constituency, Mr. Ablakwa said the act of political inducement also threatens the reputation of the state and comes as a disgrace to Ghana’s democracy.
He claims his observations pointed to several instances of inducement.
“If it very unfortunate looking at how people have to be given money before they cast their vote. This is a very shameful act and very much not accepted. This will put our democracy in shambles. This is a clear threat to democracy,” he said.
Mr. Ablakwa cautioned the electorate against selling their votes to the highest bidder.
“I would also want to plead with our voters to desist from that. Selling your vote to who has so much money is not right and must not be encouraged,” he advised.
Due to the high stakes in the election, the two major parties, the NDC and NPP, dispatched MPs and Municipal, Metropolitan and District Chief Executives to serve as polling agents.
Both parties accused each other of vote-buying as has been the trend in most by-elections. In some cases however, JoyNews’ cameras captured the sharing of money to some voters by some party agents on voting day.
In the end, the NPP’s parliamentary candidate retained the seat by a wide margin for the party, defeating the NDC candidate and the two independent candidates.