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General News of Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Source: GNA

NPP filing fee is GH25,000 (250 million)

Accra, Aug. 1, GNA - The National Executive Council of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Wednesday fixed the filing fee for presidential aspirants at GH=A2 25,000 (250 million cedis).

The decision was taken at their meeting held in Accra during which a code of conduct for the aspirants was also agreed. Nana Ohene Ntow, General Secretary of the Party, told reporters that the National Congress that would elect the party's flagbearer for the 2008 elections would take place on December 22 this year. Nominations would therefore be opened on September 22. Some 20 members, including Vice President Aliu Mahama and several senior cabinet ministers, have expressed their desire to contest the primaries.

Eight cabinet ministers, including Foreign Minister Nana Akufo-Addo, Defence Minister Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Trade and Industry Minister Allan Kyerematen, Water Resources, Works and Housing Minister, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, Tourism and Diasporan Relations Minister, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, have resigned to contest the primaries. The others are Education, Youth and Sports Minister Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Felix Owusu-Adjapong, and Communications Minister Mike Ocquaye.

Before Wednesday's meeting, various personalities had mentioned figures such as GH 50,000 cedis (500 million) and more than GH 60,000 (600 million cedis) as filing fees.

Nana Ohene Ntow said the amount was a compromise amount that should also help the party fund its activities and the primaries. He said the Council has also sent out a strong warning to contestants that the party would not countenance dirty campaign and a code of conduct that had been agreed was to ensure that there was a level playing field and clean campaign.

Nana Ohene Ntow said any candidate, whose agents would fall foul of the rules would face severe sanctions, including disqualification. He said no official of the party at all levels would be allowed to campaign for any candidate.

Concerns have been expressed in party circles about the trend of the campaign which is looking dirty. 01 Aug. 07

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