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General News Wed, 2 Nov 2016

We may pursue filing fee case after election – PPP

The Progressive People’s Party (PPP), has said it will appeal the suit it filed against the Electoral Commission’s filing fee, which was thrown out of court today [Wednesday].

An Accra High Court on Wednesday, struck out a case in which the PPP was protesting a GHc50,000 and GHc10,000, fixed by the Electoral Commission as filing fees for presidential and parliamentary candidates respectively, as part of the nomination process.

The court said it lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter, hence its decision to strike out the case.

The court further fined the party GHc10,000. But General Secretary of the PPP, Mohammed Murtala, told Citi News “it is not over, we will pursue it” at all cost.

“I’m not sure if the party will have the strength to pursue it before election, but we will pursue it,” he added.

Mr. Murtala argued that, they protested the filing fee in court in the interest of Ghanaians.

“We have told Ghanaians several times that it is not really an issue about the cost; we want to establish that those discretionary powers given to state institutions are not applied arbitrarily, that’s the point. It has nothing to do with payments.”

“And we’ve told Ghanaians we can pay; and we have done that, but we want to prove the point that discretionary powers are not applied arbitrarily, you don’t just sit down and decide and slap people with a thousand percent increment without going through some consultation. So that is our argument and the basis for which we went to court. So it is not over. We will pursue it,” he added.

Background

The party filed an interlocutory injunction at the High Court on September 19, seeking to restrain the EC from going ahead with the receipt of filing fees from presidential and parliamentary candidates a day before the date scheduled for filing.

The injunction prevented the EC from receiving the filing fees of the various parliamentary and presidential hopefuls, though it accepted the filing fee of the PPP flagbearer, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, who was represented by the party’s Chairman, Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond.

But the Commission was later given the go-ahead by the court to collect the filing fees.

The PPP, among other things, was seeking a declaration that Regulation 45 of C.I. 94 which allows the EC to fix an amount as filing fee is discriminatory, arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.

Some aggrieved parties had earlier asked the EC to review the amount describing it as “exorbitant.”

Source: citifmonline.com
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