General News of Friday, 30 September 2016
Jacob Osei Yeboah
Political parties have no business complaining about the filing fees for presidential and parliamentary aspirants being demanded by the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana because they have brought this upon themselves, Jacob Osei Yeboah (JOY), an aspiring independent presidential candidate for the 2016 elections, has said.
According to him, some political parties during their internal elections charged aspirants huge fees before admitting them to contest in those elections, therefore, the fee for the presidential and parliamentary elections may have been informed by what transpired at party primaries.
The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has filed a lawsuit against the filing fees charged by the EC. They are seeking a declaration that “the filing fee is arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable”.
The party is also seeking a declaration that Regulation 45 of C.I. 94 is discriminatory, arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable. “That the entire C.I. 94 does not contain the appropriate relevant provisions that meet the intendment of Article 296 of the 1992 Constitution.”
The other reliefs sought include: “A declaration that the proper instrument within the meaning of the relevant laws of the Republic of Ghana, in charging a deposit or fees for conducting a presidential or parliamentary election, by the Electoral Commission, is a statutory instrument and not constitutional instrument.” “An order directed at the defendants to desist from collecting and or receiving the said deposit or fees for the conduct of the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections until the appropriate statutory instruments have been passed in accordance with appropriate legal rights.”
But speaking in an exclusive interview with Class91.3FM’s Kwesi Parker-Wilson on Friday while submitting his form to contest in the presidential elections, JOY, as he is popularly called, said: “It was these same political parties that gave these indications to the EC to have this fee charged. The Convention People’s Party (CPP) charged its people GHS150000 (for their internal elections). If within your own internal organisation you manage to charge that, then there is no justification for any political party to say that those exorbitant fees that they charged with their primaries should be different from the EC.”