The Council of Elders of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has proposed an extension of the period for picking nomination forms which ended on Tuesday, 4th December 2018 to Saturday, to 8th December.
The Council has also proposed a GHc 100,000 reduction from the GHc 400,000 set as the filing fee for flagbearer aspirants.
This comes a day after some five presidential aspirants including Goosie Tanoh and Spio Garbrah, failed to beat the deadline set for picking nomination forms for the party’s upcoming presidential primaries because they had petitioned the party over the high cost of filing fees and nomination forms.
The five, Ekow Spio Garbrah, Nurideen Iddrissu, Goosie Tanoh, Kojo Bonsu and Elikplim Agbemava, were unable to pick nomination forms because the party officially closed nominations on Tuesday, 4th December 2018.
The proposal would now be decided on by the National Executive Council (NEC) for approval or rejection after they meet with the functional executive committee of the party.
The Council also wants the primaries held on January 26, instead of the initial date of January 19, 2019.
Petition over filing fees
Nine aspirants, excluding former President John Dramani Mahama, had petitioned the party’s Council of Elders over the GH 20,000 and GH 400,000 costs respectively for nomination forms and filing fees.
Having sighted a party document on guidelines for the conduct of the election, the nine, who form the majority of aspirants for the position, said the party’s plans ahead of the election are “inimical to the interests of the NDC.”
This is despite the NDC’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, saying the fees were moderate.
There are suggestions that the party may have pegged the fee at such high amount as a strategy to trim down the number of contestants and make things easier for Mr. Mahama.
So far, the Mahama camp has not sided with arguments that the amount is too high, although prior to the 2016 elections, the filing fee was just Ghc50, 000.
Support for Mahama
Mr. Mahama has had supporters of the NDC rallying around him.
Some 96 National Democratic Congress legislators have purportedly raised over GHc 600,000 for Mr. Mahama’s bid to become the NDC flagbearer, according to the Kumbungu MP, Ras Mubarak.
Scores of supporters also lined-up at Mr. Mahama’s office at Captain Hooks in Cantonments to donate towards his campaign on Monday.