The Electoral Commission (EC) has said it will soon meet to consider whether or not to review amounts it announced for filing fees for both presidential and parliamentary candidates for December’s elections.
This follows the wave of bashing it received from some political parties for pegging presidential and parliamentary filing fees at GHc50, 000 and GHc10, 000 respectively; an amount they complain is too high.
Some of the parties including the New Patriotic Party (NPP), have expressed reservations about the amount, saying it would only limit the electioneering process to a privileged few.
Speaking to Citi News, the Head of Communications at the EC, Eric Dzakpasu, said the commission will meet to deliberate on the way forward. “The commission has taken notice of the concerns and that the commission will meet and decide if there is a possibility of a review and that if there is a review it will be communicated to the political parties.”
Mr. Dzakpasu explained that, the amount they fixed was done in accordance with the law, and as such, the monies will be deposited in the Consolidated Fund if the presidential and parliamentary candidates fail to garner 25% and 12.5% votes respectively, during the December general elections.
“The law gave the mandate to the Electoral Commission to fix the nomination fee for both presidential and parliamentary election and this is the decision taken at the management level of the commission in compliance with the law.
These fees that are collected from the political parties is a deposit in the sense that when you look at the regulation 45 of C.I.94, it says that at the end of the election where a presidential candidate is able to make 25% of the valid votes cast in the election, the money is refunded to the candidate and at the parliamentary level, if the candidate is able to make 12.5%, the money goes back to the candidate otherwise it is forfeited and it is paid into the consolidated fund but not the account of the Electoral Commission,” he added.
The Commission has opened nominations for both presidential and parliamentary nominees in the country. Presidential nominees are to pick their forms at the EC Head office, while parliamentary nominees are to pick theirs at the various district offices.
Mr. Dzakpasu’s assurance follows a call by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) on the aggrieved political parties to petition the EC over the filing fees. “What they can do if they want a reduction is that they can dialogue with the commission, it’s not a question of giving them an ultimatum, just organize an emergency IPAC, let them meet and you raise concern.
They last time they held an IPAC, the commission said it was going to look at it again so let us give them the benefit of the doubt they might maybe have some small reduction for them,” the National Coordinator for CODEO, Albert Arhin said.