The National Democratic Congress, NDC, has defended its decision to charge GHC 400,000 as filing fees for aspirants seeking to contest the party’s flagbearer race.
According to the party, the fees will largely help cater for the huge cost associated with holding elections.
The NDC set a filing fee of GHC 400,000 and an additional GHc 20,000 as fees for nomination forms for their upcoming presidential primaries scheduled for the 19th of January 2019.
Speaking to the media, General Secretary of the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketia said persons who seek to lead the party should be able to bear the cost.
“If you compare these monies against the cost of organizing the activities we are talking about, you will realize that the party will still have to raise money to supplement whatever will be accruing from these filing fees so I do not see how anybody can say that it is outrageous. NPP three years ago was charging 500,000. We were all with you here in this country, did you complain?
“And three years on, we are charging GHC 400, 000 and you still say ours is too much? It is perfectly in line that you will charge filing fees to be able to pay for the activity that will elect the Flagbearer, otherwise the alternative will be to charge the party members across board who are vulnerable.”
NPP’s filing fees wasn’t GHc500,000
However, checks by Citi News show that the NPP’s filing fee was Ghc50,000 and not Ghc500,000 as claimed by Asiedu Nketia. The filing fee for women and persons with disabilities will be GHc 200,000.
These decisions were taken at a National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the NDC on Thursday. A decision is yet to be made on a schedule for the party’s parliamentary primaries.
The decision on the presidential Primary comes barely two weeks after the party elected its national executives for the next four years.
Former President John Dramani Mahama; the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin; a former Finance Minister, a former Deputy Finance Minister, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan are among the notables whohave declared intent to contest the primaries.
Others who have stepped up include the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Prof. Joshua Alabi; a former Minister of Trade and Industry, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah; a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority, Sylvester Mensah; a former MCE of Kumasi, Kojo Bonsu; Nurudeen Iddrisu; Stephen Atubiga and Goosie Tanoh.
Per the statutes of the NDC, the election of a flagbearer was to have taken place by December 7, 2018; 24 months before the 2020 general elections.
However, the delegates’ conference was postponed and held on November 17, 2018, a change that subsequently affected the date for the election of a flag bearer.
This compelled the party to amend its constitution to enable the presidential primary to be held later than the December 7, 2018 date.
Mahama the frontrunner?
Coming off the national delegetes conference, the support for John Mahama was overwhelming from NDC supporters.
Even before he had declared his intent, the 10 Regional Chairmen of the NDC had backed the candidature of Mr. Mahama for election 2020.
The 10 regional chairman, after a meeting at the time, issued a communique in which they urged the former President to consider running for the 2020 polls.
Ninety-four NDC MPs out of the Minority Caucus of 106 also endorsed Mr. Mahama as the flagbearer for the 2020 polls prior to his announcement.
The list of the MPs backing him was made public after he made his intention to contest public.