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General News of Tuesday, 28 February 2017


2016 polls: Hike in filing fees ‘horrified’ us – Ivor Greenstreet

Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, 2016 flag bearer of the Convention People Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, 2016 flag bearer of the Convention People

The 2016 flag bearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, has attributed the party’s abysmal performance in the 2016 parliamentary election to the increment in filing fees for candidates from GHS1000 to GHS 10,000.

The CPP lost its sole parliamentary seat in the polls while the flag bearer polled 0.24 per cent of total valid votes cast.

Speaking to Class News’ Kwesi Parker-Wilson in an exclusive interview, Mr Greenstreet said the high cost of the filing fee threw the party’s budget off track.

“What made things difficult for us at a point in time and put us totally off track was the Electoral Commission (EC) raising filing fees especially for parliamentary [candidates] from the GHS1000 that it was in the last election all the way by 1000 per cent to GHS10,000. So we had budgeted for maybe 100 per cent increase or 150 per cent increase and then [expected] it will move to GHS2000 but it moved to GHS10,000 per candidate,” he stated.

He said despite the financial constraint, it would have been disastrous for the party to have taken a decision to drop some parliamentary candidates to save funds.

“If right at that point we had decided to say out of the 220 MPs we were going to ask 100 of them to step aside because filing fees were so high, I think that would have created a lot of problems for us. All of those individuals would feel as though the party didn’t want to back them… So that extent by the EC to raise the filing fees for us was anti-progress of democratic governance and for us an abuse of their discretionary power.”

Mr Greenstreet further disclosed that apart from fighting opposition political parties, there were people within the CPP that wanted the party to fail.

“We were horrified and shocked when those filing fees came out, which we had to find GHS10,000 for 220 people – GHS2.2million – and ordinarily it would have been better to utilise those funds in specific places where you will have greater impact on the ground and retain some seats and even garnered more votes. But by that point in time, we were also fighting not only the external political battle but an internal political battle. There were many people who clearly within our set up did not want to see us succeed,” he noted.

He described the backstabbers who wanted his failure within the party as “normal in politics”, citing previous happenings in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to make his case. “If you look at what happened in the NPP, they removed their own chairman and general secretary right in the middle of their campaign…so because of that situation too, [we struggled in the polls].”