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28 September 2016

EC’s filing fees disgusts me – Kwesi Pratt

Kwesi Pratt Senior Journalist

Kwesi Pratt Senior Journalist

Kwesi Pratt Jnr has registered his displeasure over the amount of money pegged as filling fee for nomination forms by the Electoral Commission.

The Electoral Commission (EC) is charging 10,000 and 50,000 cedis for the Parliamentary and Presidential candidacy respectively.

The Commission believes the stipulated sum of money will bring order into the nomination process and also put some seriousness into the candidates who manage to pick the forms.

But some critics have lambasted the EC for claiming such exorbitant fees.

Addressing the issue on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo, Tuesday, Kwesi Pratt questioned the EC’s logic in charging such fees.

To him, the EC is abusing its independence and lording itself over Ghanaians.

“independence does not take away the fact that they’re working for the people of Ghana. They work for Ghana and the country. So, they can’t do whatever they like. They must do what Ghanaians like… The people

of Ghana have the right to abolish the Electoral Commission. We can amend the constitution and abolish the Electoral Commission and so on. They’re dragging the issue of their independence. Independence doesn’t mean they can dictate to everybody and so on.”

He further explained that the filing fee specified by the Commission will incapacitate some qualified candidates who would have liked to file for their nomination forms and contest the elections.

Mr. Pratt believed the EC has pegged the forms at such fees to discourage the prospective candidates instead of it being an incentive to them.

“You can be the wisest, most patriotic or very diligent but if you don’t get the 50,000, the Electoral Commission won’t allow you to contest the elections.

So, the money has become the main criteria. It’s more important than being 40 years and above. It’s more important than being a qualified voter.

It’s more important than any other constitutional requirement because if you don’t get the 50,000 and yet meet all the conditions, you’ll not be allowed to file … it saddens me. In some way too, it disgusts me … We’re going back.

We’re going back to the days of attaining democracy. We’re going back to the feudalist era. We’re going back to the era in which money decided everything and so on” he added.

 

Source: peacefmonline.com

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