The Electoral Commission on Monday, September 15, 2020, announced that Presidential candidates are required to pay GH¢100,000 as filing fees while Parliamentary candidates pay an amount of GH¢10,000 to enable them partake in the upcoming elections. The commission instructed that the monies be paid through a banker’s draft.
Both the Presidential and parliamentary aspirants are to file their nomination from October 5 to 9.
Just after the announcement, some smaller political parties and individuals have complained bitterly about the pricing and are calling on the Commission to take a second look at the decision taken.
GhanaWeb in this article makes a compilation of the people and political parties who have reacted to the presidential filing fees.
Progressive Peoples Party
The leadership of the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) have lamented the ‘high cost’ of the Electoral Commission’s GH¢100,000 presidential nomination filing fee for the December 7 elections.
The National Secretary of the party, Papa Kow Ackon said the EC should have had a meeting with the political parties about the filing fees so a consensus is reached.
In an interview with Joy FM, Mr Ackon said: “They have taken this decision without consulting IPAC (Inter Party Advisory Committee)…we find it a bit troubling that this decision has come at this time.”
“We all know the fee for 2016, the EC charged about GH¢50,000 and so for this to be increased by over 100 per cent, this is just not on”.
Convention People’s Party
The National Youth Organiser for the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Osei Kofi Acquah also expressed disappointment about the filing fees set by the Electoral Commission of Ghana.
According to him, the Electoral Commission is trying to allow only financially stable political parties to contest in the elections and preventing the smaller parties from competing them.
He was of the view that the action taken by the EC will discourage people with integrity, passion for the development of the country to avail themselves to contribute to the development of the country.
Professor Kwaku Asare
Law professor and activist, Professor Kwaku Asare, popularly known as Kwaku Azar on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, commented on the cost of the filing fee announced by the EC
According to him, it is unlawful for the Commission to charge such outrageous amount as filing fees.
He requested that the EC and other agencies must present their regulations to parliament for vetting.
Governance think-tank, Center for Democratic Development Ghana (CDD-Ghana) also labelled the cost of the presidential filing fees as outrageous.
In an interview with GhanaWeb, Senior Programs Officer at CDD-Ghana, Nana Kwabena Aborampah Mensah said: “Come to think of it, every activity in the electoral process had been budgeted for, so why the need to put pressure on the aspirants?”.
Sampson Asaki Awingobit
Flagbearer hopeful of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Sampson Asaki Awingobit, also bemoaned the high rate at which the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) has pegged the presidential filing fee.
According to him, the GH¢100,000 filing fee is a way to marginalise the minority political parties to give room for just the two major political parties; the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to contest in the December polls.
NDC Deputy General Secretary
Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Peter Boamah Otokunor has said it is ‘unreasonable’ for the EC to charge such an amount when it’s funded by government to run the election.
According to him, “Their plot is unfair to the democratic advancement of this country. A democratic institution like the EC should not put in policies to negatively affect others,” he said.