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General News of Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Source: Ghanaian Times

Stop the ugly noises and pay the fee- EC tells parties

The Electoral Commission (EC) says it will not succumb to pressures from any political party to reduce the GHC10,000 nomination fee for presidential candidate in this year's election.

“No political party candidate to the EC on the amount to be charged for the forthcoming presidential election,” Christian Owusu Parry, the acting Director of Public Affairs of the Commission told The Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday.

He was reacting to comments by some political parties and presidential candidates that the nomination fee is too high and besides, the EC did not consult the parties before arriving at that decision.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Progressive People's Party (PPP) and the Yes People's Party (YPP), including the flag bearers of the United Renaissance Party (URP), Mr. Kofi Wayo and the Democratic People's Party (DPP), Mr. Thomas Ward-Brew have criticized the EC for charging arbitrary nomination fees for the presidential election.

But Mr. Owusu-Parry believed that the nomination fee was reasonable and not “too high”, adding that candidates who obtained 25 per cent of the total valid votes cast would receive their nomination fee back.

He said under the Electoral law CI 75, Regulations 6 (1) b, a presidential or parliamentary candidates shall deposit or be caused to deposit an amount determined by the Commission.

Mr. Owusu-Parry urged the parties, to play by the rules and stop the unnecessary criticisms of the Commission.

Reacting to the nomination fees fixed by the EC, the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwadwo Owusi-Afriyie, expressed shock about the 100 per cent increase in the fees.

He expressed concern that the EC unilaterally fixed the fees without consultation with the political parties.

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