Founder and Leader of All People’s Congress (APC), Dr Hassan Ayariga has accused the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana of making a business out of the country’s democracy which the commission is mandated to protect.
“For me, I think that democracy now is for sale and not about competency anymore. It’s about those who have money and can afford and mount a campaign or contest a presidential election”. Dr Hassan Ayariga told TV3 in an interview monitored by MyNewsGH.com Monday.
The Electoral Commission in a press briefing earlier on Monday stated that presidential candidates for this year’s elections are required to pay GH¢100,000 as filing fees to enable them to qualify to take part in the elections. Parliamentary candidates are also required to pay GH¢ 10000 which saw no increment.
The EC Chair Madam Jean Mensa also announced that filing of nomination forms begin on Monday, October 5 to Friday, October 9.
The nomination forms would be available on the EC’s website from 6:00 pm Monday while candidate access the form with a unique password, the EC added.
But speaking on TV3 a few hours after the announcement, Dr Hassan Ayariga sharply reprimanded the commission describing it as a “weak institution” adding that it hard for him to believe the announcement.
“It’s hard for me to believe the reason why there has been an increase of 100% of the filing fees of Presidential candidate without consultation with IPAC or the advisory Committee of the EC. This Institution has demonstrated to us that it’s a weak institution”, he said.
Ayariga further noted that the EC “can’t just get up from one election to another increase the filing fee of a 100 per cent and you expect the ordinary Ghanaian whose salary is less than GHC 5000 a month to be able to raise an amount of GHC 100,000 to contest for presidential elections. What this means to me is that our multi-party participation is not being encouraged because the purpose of EC is to increase multiparty participation”.
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