Eight presidential aspirants of the National Democratic Congress have announced their resolve to boycott the party’s primary in protest over the much criticised 400,000-cedi filing fee announced Thursday.
The eight in a petition to the party’s National Council of Elders claimed the National Executive Council (NEC) did not follow lawful processes in setting the filing and nomination fees totaling 420,000 cedis per aspirant.
“…none of us will pick up nomination forms or otherwise comply with the unlawful Guidelines until our petition is heard and the issues set out are fully resolved,” the eight declared in the petition dated December 1.
The party’s NEC on Thursday, November 29 agreed that male flagbearer aspirants pay 400,000 cedis as filing fees and female aspirants 200,000 cedis while persons with disability pay 150,000 cedis.
The aspirants have Monday, December 3 and Tuesday, December 4 to pick up the nomination forms at the cost of 20,000 cedis.
Some critics including some NDC MPs have described the fee as exorbitant grounding their argument on high cost of living in the country, while others have suggested the amount was pegged high to automatically eliminate some of the 11 persons who have declared to contest the flagbearership race.
The eight; Alban S.K. Bagbin, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Sylvester Mensah, Stephen Atubiga, Nurideen Iddrisu, Goosie Tanoh, Kojo Bonsu and Elikplim Agbemava have described the fee as unreasonable.
“We oppose these fees on the grounds that they call the Party’s fundamental commitment to social democracy into question,” they stated, adding “…these fees are entirely out of line with the party’s own historical practice”.
Thy have accordingly proposed 5,000 cedis for the nomination forms and additional 100,000 as filing fees.
They also want to be given six weeks to complete their nomination forms, and move the presidential primary from the scheduled January 19, 2019 to March 2019.
The petitioners alleged NEC failed to meet the procedural requirements in the party’s constituton in publishing the Guidelines for the presidential primary
They claim NEC exceeded its powers by impose additional eligibility criteria on candidates or aspirants, and also demonstrated elements of bias in favour of an aspirant they did not name in the petition.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana