A flagbearer aspirant of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Alban Bagbin, has hinted of backing out of the party’s presidential primaries if the GH¢420,000 nomination and filing fee is not reviewed downward.
According to him, the National Executive Committee side-stepped the party’s constitution by going ahead to announce and implement the election guidelines without consulting the party’s Council of Elders.
Speaking in an interview on Eyewitness News on Monday, Alban Bagbin said he wouldn’t want to be involved in the election process with the fees remaining that same since it is illegal.
“You want me to participate in doing the wrong thing? No. I don’t think so. It is not right to do so,” he responded when he was asked whether he will stay in the race if the fees do not change.
Mr. Bagbin is among the 9 aspirants who have petitioned the party’s Council of Elders over the GH¢420,000 nomination and filing fees for flagbearer aspirants of the NDC ahead of the party’s January 19, 2019 primaries.
He said the concerned aspirants do not intend to pick forms within the given 2-day window if the prices are not reviewed downward.
I have raised a legal point and I’m saying the whole guidelines that they are basing all the process on is a nullity. The constitution is very clear, that those guidelines are drafted in consultation with the council of elders. The Council of Elders have not been consulted so the National Executive Committee on their own cannot on drafts the guidelines, and come out to announce it and start implementing it. We think that the whole process is nullity. It is completely abhorrence with the party’s own constitution. We need to meet, look at the laws, do the proper thing and then the other things can follow.”
“We are not picking forms until these things have been addressed…We are aspiring to lead the nation and we must learn to do the right thing before we lead the nation to also do the right thing to develop the country and so we will not condone and connive in wrongdoing,” he added.
Alban Bagbin suggested that the National Executive Committee of the party invites all the concerned aspirants to find an amicable solution to the challenge involving the nomination and filing fees.
“The best practice is for them to reach out to the beneficiaries of the whole process and at least listen to our side, that is not in the constitution but that would have been the best practice,” he said.
The nine aspirants who are complaining the fees and want it reviewed downward are Aban Bagbin, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, Stephen Atubiga, Nurideen Iddrissu, Goosie Tanoh, Kojo Bonsu and Elikplim Agbemava.
Former President John Mahama, who is also aspiring to lead the party again has not spoken publicly on the announced fees.
He has rather gone ahead to pick his nomination forms for GH¢20,000 and seem to have raised more than the needed GH¢400,000 needed as filing fee through the supporters of the NDC and others supposedly donating towards his course.