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General News of Sunday, 11 September 2016

Source: Kasapa FM

EC ‘extorting’ monies from parties to run elections – Karbo

A Deputy Communications Director of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Anthony Abayifa Karbo has slammed what he describes as the excessively high filing fees being charged Presidential and Parliamentary candidates by the Electoral Commission (EC) for the 2016 elections.

According to him, the EC’s actions are unjustified especially when it has already secured funding of the elections from the state, adding that the Commission doesn’t need monies from political parties to run the December 7 polls.

He believes the politicians having spent such huge amount will definitely find an illegitimate way of getting back their monies from the state.

The Electoral Commission has set the filing fees for Presidential candidates at Gh¢50, 000 which is 500 per cent increment of the amount charged during the last election in 2012.

At an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting Thursday, the EC also pegged the nomination fees for Parliamentary candidates at Gh¢ 10,000 as against the Gh¢1,000 paid in the last elections. The new figure is a 1,000 per cent increment from the previous amount.

The Electoral Management Body has slated September 13 for both presidential and parliamentary candidates to pick nomination forms from the Electoral Commission. The forms are to be submitted between September 29 and 30, 2016.

Majority of the parties, especially the smaller ones have protested the figure, claiming it’s a ploy to disqualify them from contesting in the upcoming December 7 elections, but the EC has rejected that claim.

However, Anthony Karbo called on the EC to reverse its actions as it’s an institution that is supposed to be in the interest of the public that it serves.

“The EC is not a profit making organization and what at all will they be using these monies for. Are we paying for them to run this election when they’ve gone to Parliament to collect close to GHC1 billion for conducting elections. What is this business of Parliamentary candidates, having to pay GHC 10,000, which means the smaller parties may have just handful of candidates to contest the election.”

He added: “The EC Boss and the other Commissioners should take their time, clearly this is a no…no. The EC is supposed to be a public institution working in the interest of the public. The EC gets money from foreign donors, the likes of UNDP support them. The USA and he UK also fund some of their activities so why demand such huge monies.”

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