Flag-bearer of the Convention People’s Party, Ivor Greenstreet, may boycott this year’s December 7 presidential elections if the Electoral Commission fails to review downward, the astronomical increment in filing fees.
Mr Greenstreet, who described the increment as “unreasonable”, says he will not pay fees as required if the Commission does not review the GHC 50,000 and GHC 10,000 to be charged for presidential and parliamentary nominations respectively.
“I’m pleading with them to review it, [if not] then I will not pay. That is why it is unreasonable…I think it is unreasonable,” he told an Accra based radio station.
The announcement of the new fees from the previous GHC10,000 and GHC1,000 for presidential and parliamentary candidates, has received backlash from various political parties who are calling for a review.
While the parties, including the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party are pushing for a downward review of the fees, the All People’s Congress says the Commission should have pegged the figure higher.
But Mr Greenstreet argued while it is in order for the EC to increase the fees, what was announced by the Commission was “so exorbitant or so high as to exclude some people from the system”.
He stated it is not political parties who fund EC through filing fees hence does not see any justification in the astronomical increment.
“We knew that filing fees for the MPs, which were a GHC1000 the last time, definitely, we knew there will be an increase maybe 50 per cent, maybe 100 per cent maybe more than that because of inflation and all of the problems with the cedi,” he said.
Per the current fees, he said his party will have to pay GHC2.7 million within the next two weeks for its parliamentary candidates aside the GHC50,000 for presidential candidate, which he said was too much.
“It’s not fair, it’s not correct. It is not something that serves democracy or tries to ensure that the whole of Ghana has opportunity to participate,” he said.
He argued that the fees are disincentive for Ghanaians who have what it takes to contribute to help Ghana because the current situation will mean it is becoming the preserve of the rich.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana