The EC must review these astronomical filing fees!

electoral-commission-of-Ghana

THOUGH our democracy is young compared to democracies like that of the United States of America, Britain, France, Germany, there is no gainsay the fact that we have come far since the inception of the 1992 Constitution.

TWENTY four years of a democratic dispensation is no small achievement. In fact we must all applaud ourselves for chalking this feat.

BUT as we often say there is more room for improvement.

FOR the twenty four (24) years that we have been under the current democratic dispensation the Electoral Commission (EC) has successfully organised six (6) free, fair and transparent general elections.

AND in all these elections Ghanaians did not have any cause to complain about the filing fees that were charged by the EC.

HOWEVER, it is obvious that the filing fees for both the 2016 presidential and the parliamentary polls are too high.

THAT development is what has compelled majority of the contesting political parties in this year’s election race to call on the EC to review downwards the filing fees.

AND following the development the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has taken legal action against the EC.

WHILE we all wait for the court’s ruling on the matter it is important that the EC does something about the situation.

IN fact Today wants state bluntly that the GHC50,000 and 10,000 for presidential hopefuls and parliamentary aspirants respectively are just too much.

WHATEVER the reason is/may be such fees will definitely scare Ghanaians who are competent but do not have the wherewithal to contest in national elections to serve this country.

IN effect what this will be doing to our democracy is that we will be selling our elections to the highest bidders.

YES we do not want to lower the standards but that should also not be reason for the EC to be astronomically increasing filing fees during general elections.

WE are even wondering what the filing fees for persons who want to contest the presidency and parliamentary seats will be in 2020.

IT is for the above reasons that Today urges the EC to see reason in the need to take a second look at the current fees for the presidential and parliamentary candidates.

THE EC must be guided by the principle that democracy is based on the majority and not minority.

THUS the mere fact that few political parties can afford does not mean that we should go along with it.

WE, therefore, hope that the EC will come out with reasonable fees that will be affordable to all the contesting political parties.

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