CDD questions ‘outrageous’ filing fee for 2020 presidential aspirants

Nana Kwabena Aborampah Mensah questions the fee set by the EC Nana Kwabena Aborampah Mensah questions the fee set by the EC

Senior Programs Officer for the Center for Democratic Development Ghana (CDD-Ghana), Nana Kwabena Aborampah Mensah has questioned the fee set by the Electoral Commission (EC) for the filing of nominations for December's presidential elections.

The EC, on Monday, September 14, 2020, opened nominations for the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.

The nominations are to be filed from Monday, October 5, 2020, to Friday, October 9, 2020, with GHS100, 000 set as the filing fee for presidential candidates, and GHS10, 000 for parliamentary candidates

Mr. Mensah, in an interview on Citi FM's Eyewitness News, questioned the rationale behind what he says are the outrageous fees demanded from aspirants.

"Come to think of it, every activity in the electoral process had been budgeted for, so why the need to put pressure on the aspirants? We are causing further strain on the public purse because the country already allocates huge sums of money for the conduct of elections, then there is the issue of parties and people winning elections and having to recoup the monies they invested."

Mr. Mensah attributed corruption in the nation to the expenses aspirants incur in their quest to win elections.

"We got alarmed after research into the cost of politics in Ghana. We found out that parliamentary candidates that seek political power spend about USD 85,000 on just the contest. That excludes the filing fee, campaigning, and other expenses. This is really outrageous and should be looked at. This has implications for governance. Talk of corruption, mismanagement and what have you, because the people need to recoup the monies they invest."

Mr. Mensah further suggested that the EC be made to render annual accounts of its expenses so as to ensure transparency in the Commission's expenditure.

"We need to start putting pressure on the EC to render annual accounts of the electoral processes."

In 2016, presidential candidates of the various political parties filed nominations at GHs50,000 whilst parliamentary candidates paid GHs10,000.

Source: By Edna Agnes Boakye