Member of Parliament for Lower Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region, Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi has condemned what he alleges as vote-buying schemes of the governing New Patriotic Party in his constituency as part of a grand agenda to influence the decision of voters in the recently held Presidential and parliamentary elections.
Mr. Terlabi who beat the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Samuel Nuertey Ayertey with close to 5000 votes accused his opponents in the ruling party of ‘blatant distribution of largesse” at even polling stations in an attempt to influence their votes.
“We were told that it was against the regulations to go into the arena or polling booth with a camera but what we saw here was that the NPP mounted a table just across the polling station and they were distributing money, money in bags,” recounted the legislator, describing the development as a wasteful venture.
According to him, the NPP embarked on a flagrant display of vote-buying in the full glare of the police, adding that the situation influenced the attitude of voters who delayed voting until they had received the money.
“They went to the polling station, the police were there, the security forces were there. They were carrying money bags all over.”
The MP said the people voted for him despite the largesse and gifts from the ruling party and stated his victory was a clear message from the people that they were not worth the money.
He said: “The people of Lower Manya have sent a signal that they are not worth GH¢200, GH¢300, omo, oil and all manner of things and I witnessed what I refer to as a very disturbing situation in this election and I believe if that is allowed to continue is not going to help our democracy.
Denying that his party engaged in similar acts of vote-buying as a governing party prior to the 2016 elections, the MP accused the NPP of perpetuating a ‘monetisation of Ghanaian elections’ anytime they are in power.
This, he said if allowed to linger, would not auger well for the Ghanaian democracy.
“What was displayed by the NPP government [in this election], if it is allowed to continue, I’m telling you, Ghanaians are going to be bought by people who may not even have the requisite competencies to represent us or to govern this country. It’s all about money, money, money and it happens only when this government is in power.”
He accused the NPP of perpetuating a monetisation of Ghanaian elections anytime they are in power.
Vote buying has become an entrenched part of Ghanaian politics with the two major political parties, the NPP and NDC, being accused of influencing voters with gifts and money to sway their choices.