A total of nine flag bearer aspirants of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have petitioned the party’s Council of Elders on the back of the GH₵400,000 filing fees to be paid ahead of the party’s primaries.
The flag bearer hopefuls behind the petition include Alban Bagbin, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, Stephen Atubiga, Nurudeen Iddrissu, Goosie Tanoh, Kojo Nonsu and Elikplim Agbemava.
General Secretary for the Party Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia disclosed last Thursday that presidential aspirants in the up-coming primaries are to pay GH₵400,000 as a filing fee.
The party agreed that nomination forms should sell at GH¢20,000. However, female candidates will pay 50 per cent less, thus GH¢200,000 of the filing fee whilst there is an additional reduction for aspirants with physical disabilities GH¢150,000.
They petitioners opine the party is imposing the fees on aspirants in a deliberate attempt to oust some of them. Many of them have tagged the huge amount being demanded as filing fees as exorbitant and unreasonable.
Below is a portion of the content of the Petition;
“IMPOSITION OF UNREASONABLE FILING FEES
“Section 9 of the proposed Guidelines imposes the following filing fees on aspirants:
a. 400,000.00 Cedis for male aspirants;
b. 200,000.00 Cedis for female aspirants; and
c. 150.000.00 Cedis for Persons with Disabilities
“We oppose these fees on the grounds that they call the Party’s fundamental commitment to social democracy into question. Their mere publication has brought the Party into negative controversy. As a social democratic Party NDC must always be committed to breaking down class and social barriers and building a more inclusive politics and society. Our mission is to empower those currently marginalised by our elitist social institutions and bring them into public life in ways that strengthen productivity and solidarity, thereby increasing wealth for all.
“The imposition by NEC of filing fees that would exclude the vast majority of Party members from offering themselves for office is unacceptable to us and (from the public outrage exhibited over the last 24 hours) to Party activists and citizens in general. As regards precedent we observe that these fees are entirely out of line with the Party’s own historical practice. For example,in the NEC elections held just 2 weeks ago the fees for contestants for the position of chairman were GHS10,000.00 and that of General Secretary, GHS8,000.00. We note further that in 2012 and 2016 filing fees for the Presidential Primaries were pegged at GHS60,000 and GHS100,000.00 respectively”.