‘It breeds corruption’ – CDD criticizes GH¢100k presidential filling fee

Electoral Commissioner, Jean Mensah

The Center for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana has reacted to the 100% increase in presidential filing fees ahead of the 2020 general elections.

“The cost of politics in Ghana is too expensive, we need to sit down as a country to discuss the topic because it has implications on governance, corruption, and mismanagement because the people need to recoup the investment they make” Nana Kwabena Mensah, Senior Programs Officer at the center said.

Speaking to Citi FM monitored by theghanareport.com, Nana Mensah bemoaned the repelling effect the exorbitant charge will have on Ghanaians.

“We know the EC draws a budget which is paid by the taxpayer’s money…if you say you are charging a presidential candidate GHC100,000 when the country has given you a budget on which you will run the election…every bit of activities the EC will run has already been budgeted for…”

“From the printing of materials, personnel, etc. and so if you are going to put pressure on the aspirants to pay huge sums the one at the receiving end is the citizens”

“You are killing us double because the taxpayer’s money is going to be used for that and when they come into the office, they are going to find a way to recoup their investment” he stated.

Dismissing the argument that the charge is a way of sieving off aspirants, Kwabena Mensah said “ So we mean if you don’t have money but have the brain, you don’t qualify to contest” adding that, “election is not about who has the money but must be a fair playing ground for all because then it is going to be something for those who have the money”.

Background

The Electoral Commission has set filing fees for presidential aspirants at GH¢100,000.

The cost of filing fees for presidential candidates, therefore, goes up by 100% while that of the parliamentary remains unchanged from the amount last set in 2016.

In the 2016 general elections, the fees for the Presidential aspirants was GHC 50,000.

 

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