The Centre for Democratic Development, Ghana (CDD-Ghana) has shared its view on the heavy filing fee being charged by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for its presidential primaries.
Speaking to Starr News, Programs Manager for CDD-Ghana, Paul Aborampah-Mensah argued that the GHS500,000 filing fees being charged are outrageous and not the best, especially in the current economic crisis.
“When they set it at Ghc300,000 we complained so you don’t expect me to congratulate them after it’s been increased. Shot up to over almost 50%. It is the same economic challenges in which these people are being requested to cough Ghc500,000. So, if the nation and country as a whole is struggling dealing with these economic challenges, how can an individual who is going to contest?
“Even if he is going to cough the money from his investments, these investments are also suffering. So, why do we put the burden on the individual if the country cannot cope with it? So, to me no matter how we do it, it’s been the usual excuse. Go and pull out some of the press statements from the start of democracy in the fourth republic and see the argument they make when they are announcing the filing fee and the competition fee for their contestants. It’s the same argument so nothing has changed,” Paul Aborampah-Mensah shared.
According to him, the hefty charge could be a move by the party leadership to manipulate the system in favour of some people by excluding others who will have a challenge raising the money.
“There are three things; one, either it is a strategy to do away or cut down the number of competitions. Two, it is either they also want to manipulate the system in favor of some people. Thus the higher you set the cost, the higher you challenge people to mobilize resources,” Programs Manager for CDD-Ghana argued.
Mr. Aborampah-Mensah added, “The party doesn’t care where people mobilize it because we are in a system where we are not accountable. Even the political parties themselves are not able to pass appropriate accounts required by elections won in the country. How can we follow individuals wherever they get GHS500,000? We are talking about GHS500,000 here, it is a systemic challenge that we need to deal with.”
From the announcement made by NDC General Secretary Fiifi Kwetey last week, the party’s primaries will be held later this year in May.
Source: Modern Ghana