The Peoples National Convention (PNC) has declared its intent to use every means at their disposal to get the Electoral Commission (EC) to reduce filing fees for presidential and parliamentary candidates in the upcoming elections which had been pegged at GH¢50,000 and GH¢10,000 respectively.
In a statement, the party’s General Secretary, Atik Mohammed said “increasing the nomination fees by 500% and 1000% for Presidential and Parliamentary Candidates respectively, is a clear communication by the EC that, it wants to limit participation in this year’s elections.
“The new fees are not only prohibitive but also hold the prospect of excluding many from the democratic process”, he stated, adding that, “this action by the Electoral Commission reduces our democracy to a commodity for the highest bidder. Such a situation is objectionable and should be resisted by all”.
According to him, “it further emphasises the premium placed on cash and not content by the EC – a situation that can rob our country of all the major gains made in democratic consolidation as if to say that, the object of the democratic exercise is to select the wealthy. These unfortunate views are only acceptable in an oligarchy”, he noted.
“In view of the democratic injury this action by the Electoral Commission is likely to occasion, we are appealing to them to reduce the nomination fees to the 2012 levels, whereby Presidential Candidates and Parliamentary Candidates would pay GH¢5, 000 and GH¢ 1, 000 respectively”, he proposed.
What is the essence of such high when “the fees charged by the Electoral Commission do not form part of the pool of resources used to conduct the elections” and would only be deposited idly in the EC’s accounts? he questioned.
He, therefore, served notice of their resolve to employ all tools to reverse the move and urged other political parties to join them in the fight.
“We must stand together in defence of our democracy”, he stated.