The Electoral Commission (EC) will not reduce the filing fee for this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for December 7.
This means the 16 political parties and nine independent aspirants, who have so far picked nomination forms to contest the election, have only 48 hours to pay the fees.
Each of the presidential candidates is supposed to pay a filing fee of GH¢50,000 while the parliamentary candidates are expected to pay GH¢10,000 each.
The Head of Communications of EC, Mr. Eric Dzakpasu, told The Ghanaian Times yesterday that the commission was resolute in its decision to maintain the filing fee.
“There is no indication that the EC would reduce the filing fee. If only one candidate pays the fee, he/she would go unopposed,” he emphasised.
Meanwhile, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic Party (NPP), Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) have expressed their readiness to pay the filing fees by the deadline on Friday, September 30.
The Director of Communications of the NDC, James Asante, told The Ghanaian Times in an interview that the Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the party would take a decision on the issue today.
“The FEC will take a decision on the filing fees at its meeting today after briefing on the issue by the NDC’s representative at the Inter Party Advisory Committee of the Commission,” he said.
Mr. Asante said the NDC was optimistic it would gain 25 per cent of the valid votes in the presidential election to enable it to demand its filing fee from the EC as required by law.
He said the filing fee for the presidential aspirants was equal to the amount charged by the political parties in their internal elections.
The Director of Communications of NPP, Nana Akomea, was confident that the party would pay the filing fees to enable it to contest the election.
“As I speak to you, we are meeting on the issue but I am confident the party will submit its form and pay the fee by close of Friday.”
A source close to the PPP Communication Team, told The Ghanaian Times that the party would file before the Friday, September 30 deadline.
The source, however, said the party was waiting for the court to rule on the injunction filed by the party.
The presidential aspirant of the GFP, Madam Akua Donkoh said she was ready to pay for the filing fees.
“By God’s grace, I will file my nomination papers before the deadline set by the EC,” she said, when quizzed whether her party has the money to do so.
Madam Donkoh said she was wondering why the political parties were raising qualms about the filing fees, arguing that “if you cannot pay a filing fee of GH¢50,000 as a presidential aspirant to contest a general elections, then how can you take care of Ghana if you become president.”
Some of the political parties in the country have expressed misgivings about the filing fees announced by the EC and asked the Commission to reduce it but their request has been turned down.
Consequently the PPP has sued the EC at the High Court to compel the commission to reduce the filing fees.
The court is however yet to fix a date for the hearing of the case with only 72 hours left for the commission to close the nomination and submission of forms.
By Augustine Cobba-Biney & Kingsley Asare