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General News of Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Source: AFAG

Review filing fee immediately - AFAG tells EC

It is on record that in December of 2015, Ghana’s parliament approved a total of Ghc826.8 million for the Electoral Commission to conduct presidential and parliamentary elections.

However, the Electoral Commission (EC) has decided to increase filing fee for the 2016 presidential and parliamentary election by 500% and 1000% respectively.

Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) construe this move by the EC to be synonymous to selling the leadership of this nation to the highest bidders.

This decision would hinder the growth of democracy and also contest the authenticity of people who intend leading this country. Among the many ripple effects of this decision is that the choices of the constituents, the very people for which a representative is going to parliament or vying to become the president, can be denied by the simple fact that he/she is unable to raise Ghc10,000 or Ghc50,000 filing fee.

To begin with, AFAG would like to quiz how the EC arrived at this figure? What level of stakeholders’ consultation was done by the EC? Who were the participants of this consultation that agreed on Ghc10, 000 for parliamentary aspirants and Ghc50, 000 for presidential candidates?

These are some basic but crucial questions the EC must respond to as soon as possible for this discussion to be addressed appropriately. Furthermore, AFAG would also like the EC to tell Ghanaians what necessitated these increment from the amount paid by presidential and parliamentary candidates in 2012? And also, what they intend doing with these monies?

AFAG believes this move by the EC is potentially dangerous and would only result in disaster in the near future if it is not properly addressed immediately. It is highly likely to relegate genuine patriotism and promote monetization of electoral system which may begin to create a ‘rich-poor’ political environment and create apathy among resource-poor patriotic Ghanaians towards our democratic process.

AFAG calls on the EC and the relevant stakeholders to review this decision as soon as possible so as to protect our democracy.


Signed:

AFAG LEADERSHIP