The Director of the Elections of the Electoral Commission, Samuel Tetteh, has described elections as serious business, therefore those willing to contest must be ready to pay GH¢50,000 and GH¢ 10,000. How about those who can’t afford this fee? If the EC says monies collected will be refunded if you obtain 25% votes in the Presidential and 12.5% in the Parliamentary elections, why take them in the first place?
The EC presented its budget to government and monies were allocated for the elections. The EC again have told us how these monies will be channeled into the consolidated funds and that at the end of the day the EC is not taking any money.
We’ve been talking over the years about state funding political parties as a result of challenges these parties are faced with, so why use other means to get them to pay money to the state?
The talk about monies being refunded to parties able to pull 25 per cent in the presidential vote and 12 per cent in the parliamentary vote is deceptive. The EC knows that some political parties cannot make 1 per cent in the presidential election. What then happens to them?
I am yet to be witness of an election in Ghana where more than two parties have been able to gather more than the 25 per cent of the vote cast in the presidential election. This is an indication that the only parties based on the trend in the last twenty four years which are capable of getting these refunds are the NPP and NDC, which can afford these fees.
The Electoral Commission does not need to use elections to raise funds for the state after receiving their approved budget. Can the EC tell Ghanaians what these monies are intended for, except for the purposes of the consolidated fund? The Electoral Commission must come again.
By Winston Amoah
The writer is the host of 3FM‘s Sunrise. The publication is first aired on the radio station every morning.