Why The NPP’s Parliamentary Filing Fee Is Outrageous ...
Last week Ghana’s largest opposition party; the New Patriotic Party (NPP) announced its parliamentary fee for its parliamentary aspirants for the 2012 elections. The amount announced ranges between 60million old Ghana Cedis to 160Million. The announcement was greeted with lots of condemnations of the NPP with very elaborate reasons given on why the issue of who became a parliamentary aspirant on the ticket of the NPP should not be narrowed down to the highest bidders but rather to the highest competent persons! It is unreasonable in all shapes and forms for the NPP to take such a decision about its parliamentary aspirants without recourse to competence but a huge focus on “monecracy”. None in NPP has been able to justify the exorbitant filing fees against competence. All we are being told is that, an aspirant should be able to raise such an amount to file to contest on the ticket of the NPP. The irony is that, it is the same NPP which since the National Democratic Congress (NDC) came to power have been telling Ghanaians that, the living conditions in the country were worst and unbearable; with NPP activists being booted out of their jobs in some cases and businesses of NPP persons crumbling to pieces under the current administration. If this scenario that the NPP is promoting is true about the current NDC’s administration who are they expecting to support intelligent but poor parliamentary aspirants to raise the filing fees? I have a bad dream that, the NPP if it continues to enforce these obnoxious filing fees will end up having unpopular and incompetent rich persons filing as its candidates and the results will definitely be a colossal defeat in election 2012. My words should be marked! I personally believe that, at times the NPP takes certain outmoded decisions without consideration to the other regions in the country. They seem to be using Ashanti region as the basis to take all unpopular decisions! The truth is that if even the filing fee were to be made 1billion old Ghana cedis in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, parliamentary aspirants in that region would have raised the money to file. This is because the Ashanti region is the political “world bank” of the NPP and the possibility of an NPP parliamentary aspirant winning his or her seat is very high! The reverse is very true in the other regions of the country especially the three Northern regions and the Volta region of Ghana! With the current high filing fees, what it means is that, the NPP will definitely be unable to get candidates to file on its ticket in at least the three Northern Regions and the Volta region of Ghana for elections 2012. The few who are likely to file in those regions I can bet will be persons who have the money but are unattractive to win the votes of the people in those regions. The recipe for such a situation will be obvious defeat. All those who sat down to agree on that “obnoxious” filing fees did not do the party and democracy any good. They will be held responsible if this very unpopular decision affects the fortunes of the NPP in election 2012. Nobody in NPP should jump to any media to condemn another ‘chasing the elephant into the bush…’ maybe it will be chasing the elephant into the Atiwa forest after election 2012. The NPP should be assured that, it will definitely see a record independent parliamentary Candidates from within its own fold if the current “Ahomkyire” filing fees are allowed to stand. I don’t want to go into the principles and theories of free and fair elections but what I can say is that, it is not an element of free and fair elections to impose hefty filing fees on parliamentary aspirants of one’s party under very funny reasons! The very reasonable thing to do now is for the NPP to reduce the “obnoxious” filing fees to the very barest minimum. A stitch in time, it is said, saves nine. Those are my last words to the NPP.
Source: Akilu Sayibu
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