Founder and leader of the opposition All People’s Congress (APC), Hassan Ayariga says the Electoral Commission (EC) does not have the power to increase Presidential filing fees for any reason whatsoever.
According to him, the fact that former Electoral Commissioner Madam Charlotte Osei got away with a similar practice during her tenure does not mean it is constitutional.
Speaking on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show, Mr Ayariga insisted that the EC has flouted its own law by failing to seek approval from Parliament before increasing the filing fees.
“Clearly, even the Electoral Commission itself has flouted its own law because according to our laws, certain public institutions before they increase the tariff of their fee, they need to get the backing or approval of Parliament and EC is one of such institution and it should go and look at the Constitution and read of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana with regards to the increment of certain tariffs and they will realize that the EC cannot sit down and decide by two to three people to say that because they don’t want many people to contest the Presidential race, they have increased by 100 percent”.
“It is not done because it is an institution governed by law and Parliament needs to approve the filing fees of the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) 100 percent increment. The mere fact that in 2016 Madam Charlotte Osei did and nobody looked at it, it has opened our eyes to certain things that when you make certain mistakes, we will go and read the constitution properly and then we come out with the regulations”.
Wondering the prudence of the EC's actions, he maintained that it is not the prerogative of the electoral body to determine who can contest an election.
He further stated that the EC's action is no guarantee that only competent persons will pick up nomination forms to file to contest for the position of President.
“What this is means is that those who have the money but are dunderhead can just come and pick forms and pay for it and contest it? What is the guaranteed that those who have the money are more competent than those who don’t have?”, he quizzed.
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