Over GHC420, 000 Filing Fees……
The coming days, will determine whether some aspirants of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer slot, have the capacity to mobilize money to contest the January 19, 2019, Presidential primary, as the party has pegged its Nominations forms at GHc 20,000 and the filing fee at GHc 400,000.
The huge amount is being argued as barrier to the aspirants, some of whom are having difficulties in mobilizing supporters to grace their events.
Meanwhile, Stephen Atubiga, has said he could pay more, because he and his team, had budgeted about GH¢1 million for the filing and nomination fee.
But aspirants like the former Minister of Trade and Industry, Ekow Spio-Garbrah, and former Deputy Finance Minister, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, could not get party supporters to mass up at their various programmes, speaking volumes about their popularity in the NDC.
At the NDC’s National Delegates Congress all the aspirants, including Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin, ex-Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Prof. Joshua Alabi; Spio-Garbrah; a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority, Sylvester Mensah; a former MCE of Kumasi, Kojo Bonsu; Nurudeen Iddrisu; Stephen Atubiga and Goosie Tanoh, were drowned by President John Dramani Mahama.
Political analysts, have projected a landslide victory for ex-President Mahama with a 95percent margin, and it is clear party members with financial muscle, will be putting their money on him, including paying for his GHC420,000 being the total cost of his nomination form and the filing fee.
Already, the camp of Professor Joshua Alabi, has expressed disappointment with the GHC400, 000 filing fee expected to be paid by all flagbearer hopefuls.
Nii Amassah Namoale, Campaign Coordinator for Prof Alabi, has described the amount as “outrageous” and further called on the Council of Elders of the NDC to intervene.
According to the party, filing fee for women and persons with disabilities will be GHc 200,000. These decisions were taken at an ongoing National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the party.
Also, the parliamentary aspirants are expected to pay GHS20,000 as filing fees. Female parliamentary aspirants, will pay half of that.
The party took the decision at a NEC meeting on Thursday, November 29, at the party’s headquarters in Accra. According to the party, all aspirants have up to 10 days to submit the [properly filled forms].
A decision is yet to be made on a schedule for the party’s parliamentary primaries.
The decision on the presidential Primary, comes barely two weeks after the party elected its national executives for the next four years.
Per the statutes of the NDC, the election of a flag bearer was to have taken place by December 7, 2018; 24 months before the 2020 general elections.
However, the delegates’ conference was postponed and held on November 17, 2018, a change that subsequently affected the date for the election of a flag bearer.
This compelled the party to amend its Constitution to enable the presidential primary to be held later than the December 7, 2018 date.
Coming off the national delegates conference, the support for John Mahama was overwhelming from NDC supporters.
Even before he had declared his intent, the 10 Regional Chairmen of the NDC, had backed the candidature of Mr Mahama for election 2020.
The 10 regional chairmen, after a meeting at the time, issued a communique in which they urged the former President to consider running for the 2020 polls.
Ninety-four NDC MPs out of the Minority Caucus of 106, also endorsed Mr Mahama as the flagbearer for the 2020 polls prior to his announcement.
The list of the MPs backing him was made public after he made his intention to contest public.
Speaking on this development on Asempa FM’s Ekossii Sen programme yesterday, Mr Namoale said: “In fact, the amount is outrageous and unreasonable, but this is a NEC decision. We will like to appeal to the Council of Elders to meet with the NEC to review that amount.”
He added that: “The unreasonableness is on the date, you cannot use 10 days to tour the whole country to sign on the form, you can’t. That 10 days is too short a time…”
He further appealed to all the other aspirants to reject the amount.
“No matter what Prof. Alabi will still contest. I will plead with the other flagbearer aspirants, including former president Mahama to reject the amount, the fee should come below GHS100,000,” he said.