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Politics of Friday, 9 September 2016

Source: 3 News

EC to reconsider GHC50,000, GHC10,000 filing fees

The Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) has been requested by some political parties including the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to reconsider the filing fees for this year’s elections.

After an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting on Thursday, September 8, the Commission announced that presidential candidates will pay GHC50,000 from a previous figure of GHC10,000 while parliamentary candidates will pay GHC10,000 from a previous fee of GHC1,000 when filing their candidacy forms.

The Commission justified the fees as within the same precincts as what the political parties charge during their respective filing and nominations.

But this was greeted with a seeming unanimous disapproval from the parties.

“Given the state of affairs in the country…economic situation in particular, the GHC10,000 [charged previously] for presidential is already high,” founder of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) Thomas Ward Brew said after the meeting.

Representatives of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) were said to have even stormed out of the meeting after the announcement was made by the Commission.

United Front Party’s leader Nana Agyemang Boateng told TV3’s Komla Klutse that “it is something that will disturb the small parties”.

“I think we [the smaller parties] have to meet and decide. We are still appealing that they should do something about it, especially the parliamentary. It should have come early so we could have known how to plan.”

NPP’s Acting General Secretary John Boadu dismissed EC’s justification, disclosing that the political parties use the filing and nomination funds to run their day-to-day affairs.

“We charge higher fees because we use that amount to organise the primaries for the said elections that we charge the fees for,” he said, questioning why the EC will want to raise funds from the filing fees when its budget has already been catered for by government.

But in a statement issued after the reactions, the EC says it will consider the request made for a reduction in the fees.

“The Commission will consider a request made by some political parties for the filing fees to be reviewed downward.”

Candidates are expected, notwithstanding, to submit their nominations on Thursday, September 29 and Friday, September 30.

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