The Electoral Commission (EC), has expressed worry over the a suit filed by the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), challenging the filing fees it fixed for nominees, saying it may delay the vetting of nominees for the December polls.
“If you are talking about the end of the process in terms of determining those who are qualified to ballot for their positions on the ballot paper, yes,” Head of Communications, Eric Kofi Dzakpasu told Citi News’ Sixtus Dong Ullo when he was asked whether the suit could affect the entire nomination process.
Though the Commission has begun the vetting process, Mr. Dzakpasu said it cannot be completed until the court case is concluded.
He explained that, the commission as part of processes in vetting nominees undertakes some processes including accepting nomination forms as well as filing fees, adding that the EC can only approve a candidate when all processes are met.
The PPP dragged the EC to court claiming that the filing fees which was GHc50,000 and GHc10,000 for presidential and parliamentary aspirants, were too high hence must be reviewed.
But Mr. Dzakpasu noted that “we cannot accept nominations without the filing fees” because “If we accept right now, and give receipt to the people indicating that we have accepted; and let’s say the filing fee comes and some are not able or willing to pay, you may have to come back and re-ballot for those who would be able to pay; so final acceptance would only be done after the monies have been paid.”
The EC last week accepted the nomination forms from presidential and parliamentary nominees, hoping to contest in this year’s elections, but failed to accept the filing fees over the PPP’s suit.
The EC surprisingly accepted the filing fee from the PPP. The Commission has announced that it will release the list of presidential candidates who have qualified to contest in this year’s general elections this week.
In all, 17 presidential aspirants were able to submit their nominations last week.
Disqualification of nominees
Mr. Dzakpasu also explained that, a nominee could be disqualified if his supporters who endorsed his nomination forms are not registered voters.
“In processing the nominations, we have a time period for receiving the nominations and we have a time period for accepting. In between these periods, we vet the various forms. You know for the presidential you need two registered voters in each district in this country to subscribe to your candidature. So we are talking about 432 people plus the details of the candidate and his vice candidate. Then your supporting documents including the filing fee.”
“Now after receiving these nominations and the vetting process is going on, where we go on the database to check the particulars of all these people, you know among the rules one person cannot nominate himself. All these things must be cross-checked and every subscriber should have a valid voters ID card with a valid voter ID number. So all these processes will be checked and the final acceptance would be done when the filing fees are determined and the people have paid. It is only then that we can come out with the full list of people who can stand legally as candidates for the election,” he added.
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana