The flagbearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Ms Brigitte Dzogbenuku, has suggested to the Electoral Commission to review downward, the GHC100,000 filing fee which all presidential aspirants are expected to pay.
After filing her nomination on Wednesday, 7 October 2020, Ms Dzogbenuku said she earlier suggested a reduction.
“We want a lot more women”, she said, adding: “We do know that the fees are one of the ways a lot of people, not only women, are discouraged from participating”.
“I mean the fees are exorbitant, they are high and, especially for women who don’t have as much earning power but still are capable of being in leadership positions by virtue of the fact that we make up 51 per cent of this country and, indeed, are contributors to this economy, they should be part of the decision-making process, they still are cut out by some of these fees”.
“The fees themselves restrict them from participating in the electoral process and the democratic process of this country. So, a reduction in it will be a way of encouraging more women to enter the race”, the former beauty queen said.
She is not the first persons to have called for a reduction.
A few weeks ago, the Centre For Better Society Advocacy And Research Africa (CEBSAR-AFRICA) and Institute For Liberty And Policy Innovation (ILAPI-GHANA), called on the EC to, immediately, halt the implementation of the GHS100,000 filing fee for presidential hopefuls in the 2020 general elections.
Describing the fee as an “administrative scheme by the EC to deny any candidate” of their political rights to contest elections and an affront to democracy, the groups stated that the EC’s action is unconstitutional.
A statement issued by the groups on 23 September 2020 indicated that the “exorbitant” filing fee demanded by the EC, if not abolished, “will estop candidates with better ideas, policies and programmes, from putting themselves up to be voted for, and, this will be a critical dent on the proper functioning and credibility of our democracy.”
“We are also of the opinion that such exorbitant filing fees breed unhealthy competitions in our politics and could provide a fertile avenue where winning candidates may want to find ways to recoup the filing fee investment. The consequence of such practices could lead to corruption,” the statement further noted.
According to the statement, instead of demanding a “whopping” GHS 100,000 as filing fee, the EC can “increase the number of registered voters who must subscribe to the candidature of each contestant during the elections to, at least, 82,500.”
The groups explained that with these subscribers drawn from various constituencies across the country, a fairer process to assess the readiness and seriousness of anybody who wishes to be the leader of this nation will be established, thereby deepening the enviable democratic dispensation in Ghana.