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EC’s outrageous filing fee a fine imposed on political parties – Kwaku Azar alleges

Fri, 18 Sep 2020 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Law professor, Kwaku Asare, popularly known as Kwaku Azar has said the payment of GH¢100,000 as presidential filing fee is a fine imposed on candidates by the Electoral Commission (EC).

The effect of the ‘fine’ he said was to suppress minority parties and pave way for the already known parties to contest in the December polls.

In a Facebook post sighted by GhanaWeb, Prof. Azar said “While it is called a filing fee, in actual fact it is a fine imposed on political parties and independent candidates who do not meet a certain threshold in the general elections. Since the threshold is set arbitrarily high (over 10% percent in both Parliamentary and Presidential elections), the primary, if not the sole, effect of the fine is to penalize the smaller parties and the independent candidates. Put differently, the achieved, if not intended, effect of the fine is to promote and perpetuate the well-known political duopoly”.

He, therefore, called on the EC to as a matter of urgency take a second look at the outrageous money announced for the presidential and parliamentary filing fee.

“I must add that the small parties’ value proposition to the political process should not be measured by the number of votes they are able to garner in the general elections. These Parties bring to the public square issues that are important to their membership and allow such issues to be taken into account whether or not they are successful in the general elections. When they are denied access to the ballot, they are also denied the opportunity to raise these issues that are important to their membership,” he added.

The Electoral Commission on Monday, September 15, 2020, announced that presidential candidates are required to pay GH¢100,000 as filing fees while parliamentary candidates pay an amount of GH¢10,000 to enable them to partake in the upcoming elections. The commission instructed that the monies be paid through a banker’s draft.

Both the presidential and parliamentary aspirants are to file their nomination from October 5 to 9.

Just after the announcement, some smaller political parties and individuals complained bitterly about the pricing and are calling on the Commission to take a second look at the decision taken.

Watch the law professor's Facebook post below.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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