The General Secretary of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has defended the party’s decision to charge ¢400,000 as filing fees for aspirants for 2020 presidential candidate.
He explained the party intends to use the monies to be raised to organise the party’s presidential primaries slated for January 19, 2019.
“The cost of living is high but somebody must pay the cost of running the elections; who is going to pay?..
”I have not declared to be a presidential candidate so those who have declared to be presidential candidates must pay the cost”, he laughed during his interaction with journalists in Accra Thrusday.
He rejected criticism that the fee is at variance with the Social Democratic political philosophy of the NDC.
“Social democracy is not poverty,” he said and run a lesson on the party’s philosophy which he said means allowing market forces to work but still put in place mechanisms to protect those affected negatively by free market rules.
There is a field of some 10 aspirants who have expressed interest in leading the party into the 2020 presidential elections.There is the view the figure is meant to trim down the aspirants.
Apart from the ¢400,000 for filing fee, they are to pay ¢20,000 for picking a presidential nomination form.
The NDC General Secretary said presidential aspirants should ‘weigh themselves well’ first before deciding to contest.
”If you want to pretend and you bring your money, we also pretend with your money. You will not have the option of any refund”, he continued.
The 2020 presidential candidate must be a person with fund-raising prowess, he indicated.
”It will cost money to undertake a presidential campaign [in 2020] so we shouldn’t create the impression that once you become a flagbearer, the party is going to get money from somewhere to give you to do the campaign.”
Reacting to concerns that the combined ¢420,000 to contest, the General Secretary fresh from winning an easy re-election battle asked journalists “how much is too much?”
He claimed, the party’s political rival the NPP charged ¢500,000 from flagbearer aspirants some three years ago. Checks show, NPP presidential aspirants were asked to pay ¢85,000 in the last presidential primaries in 2014.
For the 2016 presidential elections, the Electoral Commission set ¢50,000 for presidential candidates. That fee was a 500% hike from the previous 2012 presidential race.