Vote buying will lead to the election of illiterates as members of Parliament, according to ACEPA Boss

Wednesday, January 31, 2024 | views Last Updated 2024-01-31T09:42:00Z



Dr. Rasheed Draman, the Executive Director of the African Center for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), has expressed regret over the growing number of cases in which politicians purchase votes during elections.

Vote buying is the practice of candidates using money or other inducements to sway the people to support them in an election.

According to Dr. Draman, it is becoming increasingly clear that wealthy and powerful individuals are using their wealth to win over voters, pushing out qualified and experienced candidates. He feels that this is not a good sign for our democracy.

"I have it on good authority that some of the individuals who have chosen not to run for office regret that those who have shown up to take their place, armed with large sums of money, may be poorly qualified or lack the necessary education to serve in parliament. Once they're in there, the quality will undoubtedly suffer.

There are several challenges, sometimes even for the Speaker to have a quorum, when new Members of Parliament first join the chamber. When people enter, they become preoccupied with things other than the House's business. You combine that with the fact that new hires don't receive the same level of regular onboarding and training.

If we don't stop purchasing votes, drug money will find its way into our democratic system. ACEPA's director


Dr. Rasheed Draman, the Executive Director of the African Center for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), has emphasized the necessity of regulating the increasingly prevalent practice of vote buying. He has issued warning, saying that if this is not done, people will utilize money obtained from illicit sources to finance parliamentary elections. "Our democracy will eventually..."

Dr. Rasheed Draman

He added that, “If nothing is done, I think in the next two cycles of our election, we are going to have a big crisis on our hands. Because, those who have money are going to line up to go into parliament. It is going to be like a buffet and experienced MPs who don’t have fat wallets are going to continue to get pushed out. That’s not going to be good for our democracy and even the national security implication of that.

All these people who have money and are pushing experienced MPS out, where are they getting the money from? Who is funding them? What is the interest of all these people who are providing them with funding? We need to interrogate all these and the implications of that on the quality of our democracy.”

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