Nana Obiri Boahen, the NPP’s Deputy General Secretary, has urged persons who wish to contest for the December general elections to get out of the contest if they believe the filing fee is too high for them to raise.
According to him, it is “immaterial” for any political party that wishes to lead the country should raise concerns about the new filing fees.
He argued that the Electoral Commission (EC) is an autonomous body and the parties must allow it to discharge its mandate of running credible, free and fair elections, the major reason for it being set up.
Speaking on Joy FM hours after the EC announced the new fees, the NPP Deputy General Secretary said: “If you cannot raise GH¢100,000 please get out. Those who can mobilize will pay.”
Obiri Boahen continued: “The EC may perhaps, out of courtesy consult the political parties but there is no law in this country which states that at all times the EC must consult all the political parties.”
The EC at a press conference in Accra announced that the presidential nominees for the upcoming 2020 elections are required to pay an amount of GH¢100,000 as filing fees to enable them to partake in the elections.
The Commission also announced a filing fee GH¢10,000 for parliamentary nominees. The monies are to be paid through a banker’s draft.
“The nomination fees are adjusted every four years…… Those of you who know the value of money knows that in each particular year, it’s important that you look at the value of 50,000 cedis in 2016 and compare [that] to 50,000 cedis in 2020. You’ll notice that the commission hasn’t increased it that much,” Dr Bossman Asare explained.
After the announcement, some political parties raised concerns over the new fees as they indicated that they were not consulted by the EC before the announcement.
Some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have also raised concerns about the astronomical increase.
Some CSOs have been campaigning for some strict laws that will propose a cap on the expenses of political parties as is done in other jurisdictions.
But Nana Obiri Boahen believes those suggestions cannot be applicable in Ghana.
“How can we do that?” he asked, and added, “These are all ridiculous suggestions.”