Politics

Presidential candidates to pay GH¢50,000; aspiring MPs GH¢10,000

mahama-nduom-nanaPersons seeking to become Ghana’s president are to pay a whopping GH¢50,000 as nomination fee to be able to contest in this year’s presidential elections, which takes place on December 7, the Electoral Comission has announced.

The figure is 500 per cent from the GH¢10,000 paid by presidential candidates in the 2012 elections.
Parliamentary candidates are also to pay 10,000 as against the GH¢1,000 paid in the last elections. The new figure is a 1,000 per cent increment from the previous amount.
Both presidential and parliamentary candidates are to pick their nomination forms from the Electoral Commission on Tuesday, September 13 and submit same between September 29 and 30, 2016.
3News sources within the ongoing Inter Party Advisory Committee [IPAC] meeting at the Electoral Commission’s office in Accra Thursday said the smaller parties led by leader of the Democratic People’s Party, Thomas Ward Brew and the United Front Party’s Nana Agyemang Boateng  are objecting to the amount as being astronomical.
Representatives of the Great Consolidated Popular Party and others stormed out of the meeting to register their disapproval of the amount.
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“Given the state of affairs in the country, how? It’s not easy, the economic situation in particular. The 10,000 [Cedis] for presidential is already [previously charged] high. They [the EC] said they are going to think about,” Mr Brew told TV3’s Komla Klutse.
Representatives of the Great Consolidated Popular Party have stormed out of the meeting to register their disapproval of the amount. The parties say they will petition the EC over the matter.
Flag bearer of the UFP, Nana Agyeman Boateng, described the new fees as “too harsh” considering the economic condition and the time frame withing which they are to pay the amount.
“It’s something that will disturb the small parties. I think we (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,” he told Komla Klutse.
National Democratic Congress (NDC) chairman Kofi Portuphy also described the fees as being high, saying “We have appealed to the Commission. We feel it’s high so we have appealed and they [EC] will take a decision.”
He told 3FM’s Kwakye Afreh-Nuamah that the concerns raised by the smaller parties are genuine.
“I believe that it’s a good concern, they have expressed it and that’s the purpose of IPAC. We are waiting for the Commission to decide”.
Acting General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, John Boadu on his part said: “Obviously filing fee of GH¢50,000 for presidential  candidates and GH¢10,000 for parliamentary candidates is on the high side because most political parties, especially the New Patriotic Party pays for each and every parliamentary candidate so you’re talking about 2.75 million cedis plus 50,000 so we are looking at 3.25 million cedis.
“This mischief about political parties charge higher fees; we charge higher fees because we use that amount to organise the primaries for the said elections that we charge the fees for,” he added.
Mr Boadu wondered why the EC is charging so much when money for the elections on December 7 have been budgeted for, adding “so it is not the same as the political parties where we use the amount that we collect for our filing fees to run our elections, they don’t!”
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana
Twitter @steviekgh_TV3

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