Political party campaigns are generally expensive in terms of mobilization, transport and other logistical considerations.
That cost is compounded by the increasing incidence of financial inducement on the part of the political class when they go to sell their message to the electorate.
The just-ended New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential primaries witnessed open confession of inducement by the two major candidates, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia (the eventual winner) and his main contender, Kennedy Agyapong.
In the aftermath of the vote, calculations of how much money the Bawumia campaign spent has been bandied around with the major metric being the widely-reported 400 cedis paid to delegates in most parts of the country during the November 4 election.
Two sums have been floated based on over 208,000 delegates having received 400 cedis each as promised by the Vice President’s campaign – allegedly.
Edudzi Kudzo Tameklo, head of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) legal directorate concludes based on the calculation that over 80 million cedis was spent by the winner.
He directly accuses president Akufo-Addo of having sponsored and bankrolled the candidature of his vice.
“What work was Bawumia doing before entering politics, yet only 4 million cedis to save Korle Bu Renal Center, Akufo-Addo says it is not available.
“Meanwhile, he has managed to get 80 million to give for Bawumia to run an election. 80 million shared to delegates to spend for free. Even some delegates got 1,200 cedis because Bawumia was already giving monies before the 400 on the election day,” he submitted on Power FM.
“If you compute the entire expenditure, it comes up to about US$20 million,” he lamented.
On his part, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch tagged the vote the “most expensive political party primaries I have ever seen.”
He submitted on Good Morning Ghana programme on Metro TV (November 8) that “conservative estimates based on facts, indicate that the Bawumia campaign must have spent about 100 million Ghana cedis.”
Asked to provide his evidence, he explained: “All of us saw delegates complaining on Live TV that they had been given 400 cedis each, multiply that by 208,000 delegates, that comes to 83.2 million.
“So clearly, VP Bawumia alone must have spent a minimum of 100 million Ghana cedis and that has never happened in this country,” he said suggesting that other monetary considerations may have made the figure much higher.
After the November 4 vote, Dr Bawumia polled 61.47% of total votes cast by nearly 200,000 delegates of the NPP to emerge victor in the party’s flagbearer contest. His closest contender, Ken Agyapong polled some 37.41%.
Speaking at an event to declare the vice president winner on Saturday night, Ken Agyapong promised to support Dr Bawumia’s campaign for the presidency.
“This is the only thing I’ve been preaching, and I must admit this election is fair and my grassroots have spoken; therefore, I accept the results in good faith,” Mr Agyapong said moments after the results was announced.
He pledged his support to the flagbearer-elect to help defeat the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and “break the eight.”
“So, party members we should put everything behind us and let’s unite this party…, I believe we can break the eight and that’s what I’ve been preaching,” he added.