A Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Congress (NDC), lawyer Barbara Serwaa Asamoah, has justified why the umbrella family is charging aspiring presidential candidates GHc42, 000 for their nomination forms and filing fees.
Speaking to Kwabena Agyapong on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the deputy scribe said, the cost of printing of ballot papers, the services that would be rendered by the Electoral Commission (EC) during the January 19 primaries among other expenses will demand for money.
According to her, these and many other factors were considered in determining the GHc42, 000 cost for the presidential primaries.
The NDC, has pegged the filling fee for it’s presidential candidate race, which is set for January 19, 2019, at GHc 400, 000.
Nominations forms for the aspirants will cost GHc 20,000. The costs for filling and nomination forms are non-refundable, General Secretary Johnson Asideu Nketiah disclosed at a press conference yesterday (Thursday).
The filing fee for women and persons with disabilities will be GHc 200,000 and GHc 150, 000 respectively.
These decisions were taken at an ongoing National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the NDC.
Immediately after the figure was announced, Ghanaians took to social media to lament the cost which they noted was an act of opulence.
But lawyer Serwaa Asamoah said the figure was justified because managing a presidential primary in a party with over 300, 000 delegates, is not an easy task.
The decision to arrive at the cost she indicated was done after a broad consultation by leadership of the party.
‘’The NDC is not a profit making organization and so if individuals willing to contest the race must be financially strong and willing to bear part of the cost for the presidential race,’’ she said.
Resources generated by the party through the payment of dues would not be enough to manage the congress hence the reason why we arrived at the figure, she added.
Meanwhile, a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Yaw Gyampo has said persons seeking to contest should be able to raise the resources for the race.
He opines the figure will scare jokers away adding that, any individual who is unable to raise the money is not fit to be president.
‘’If u cannot raise funds to finance your ambition to lead a party, then u are not that serious to lead a whole country. This is because it is part of governance to have the needed contacts to be able to raise funds to run a country. As coming events cast their shadows, ones ability to raise funds to fund his flag bearership contest may also be indicative of his ability to raise money for the nation as a whole.’’
He added: ‘’We’ve had several instances in our political history when people who have no experience, track record and who haven’t had any feel of managing anything before, not even running a home before, stood for elections and won simply because they were popular.’’