Financial Analyst, Sydney Casley Hayford, has watered down suggestions that filing fees being charged by the Electoral Commission is expensive.
The Commission has been criticized by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the People’s National Convention (PNC), for pegging filing fees for the December 7 polls at GHc50,000 and GHc10,000 for presidential and parliamentary aspirants respectively.
The NPP in particular argued that, the amount will only limit participation in the democratic process to only a privileged few.
But speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis Programme, ‘The Big Issue’, Casley Hayford said these criticisms are baseless , saying “If you want to become President of this country and you cannot afford to pay 50,000 cedis over four years in order to become President then please step down. You have no reason to be involved in what we are doing. You have four years to plan, to raise enough money, to put your party’s financial matters together properly in order to ensure that when the time comes, you can actually pay for the fees. “
He added that “the mistake probably is that, the EC has hit the political parties with this tariff just recently and you now have to find the money under emergency conditions; but if you were told four years ago that you have to pay 50,000, you probably would not have a problem with it; so maybe it’s the sharpness of the decision which is worrying them; but frankly they should be able to find the money.”
He further wondered why the various political parties are kicking against the move, when they actually “waste more money giving away bribes to the voting public.”
“If you look at the NDC and NPP; you will see they are giving away branded motorcycles and other goodies…”
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana