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Panel believes Exorbitant EC filing fees meant to sanitize election participation

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Mr Kwesi Jonah, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) has added his voice to the GHc100,000 filing fees being charged by the Electoral Commission (EC) from Presidential aspirants wishing to contest this year’s elections.

He alluded that the EC pegged the filing fees at GHc100,000 in order to sanitize and control political parties’ participation in the elections.

Mr Jonah was contributing to GTV “Talking Point” program which discussed the rationale behind the EC’s decision to Peg the filing fees at GHc100,000 for Presidential aspirants.

The IDEG Research Fellow discounted claims that the exorbitant fees charged by the EC was intended to raise funds to run its activities.

“I don’t think the EC wanted to raise money to run its operations because the amount is a mere deposit and when the political parties secure 25 per cent of the valid votes cast, they would get back their monies.” he said.

He advised the EC to pay attention to regulating political party activities, rather than only concerning itself with organising elections and demarcating electoral boundaries.

Dr Alidu Seidu, a Senior Lecturer at the Political Science Department, University of Ghana, on his part cautioned that using money to control political parties’ participation in an election could set a bad precedent for the nation’s democracy.

He blamed some politicians for creating bad perception about politics because of their expensive lifestyle.

“Nowadays, the grassroot supporters of all political parties want to take their pound of flesh at the primaries because they see politics as a lucrative business because of the lifestyles of some politicians,” Dr Alidu pointed out.

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