Election 2016 Catholic bishops chastise politicians over vote buying

In a communiqué issued at the end of the Catholic Bishops Conference week long plenary assembly in Tamale, the bishops described the practice as an 'insult' and urged politicians and electorate to stop giving and demanding, in equal measure, gifts in return for votes.

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play President Mahama giving outboard motors to fishermen in the Western Region in August 2016.
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Catholic bishops in Ghana have condemned politicians for engaging in the practice of vote buying.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the Catholic Bishops Conference week long plenary assembly in Tamale, the bishops described the practice as an 'insult' and urged politicians and electorate to stop giving and demanding, in equal measure, gifts in return for votes.

READ MORE: GII cites NDC for vote buying, incumbency abuse

[The practice of vote buying is] “an insult to the intelligence and dignity of the unsuspecting voters. We call for a stop to such acts of vote buying and also entreat the electorate to desist from yielding to such needless enticements.”

A new report by a group of civil society groups, including the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, has accused both the governing party and the leading opposition party of abuse of incumbency and vote buying.

It describes vote buying as "the act of offering an inducement by a party, a candidate or a candidate’s agent with the clear intention of  harvesting the recipient’s vote....Specifically, offering money and  /pharmaceuticals products to voters and providing last minute infrastructure, construction materials, agricultural inputs and other services to institutions and communities aimed at securing votes."

The bishops have also expressed their profound support to the Electoral Commission after it dismissed 13 presidential aspirants last week for failing to fill out forms properly.

READ MORE:Abuse of incumbency: Flagstaff House rejects GII report

Ghana's presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled to come off on December 7, 2016.

Click here to read the full report by civil society organisations on vote buying.

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