One of the eight ‘unhappy” National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer aspirants has called the bluff of the party’s executives to close the nomination process on Tuesday.
Ekwow Spio-Garbrah is confident the NDC National Executive Committee (NEC) will acknowledge it breached the party’s constitution by setting nomination and filing fees without consulting the National Council of Elders, and address the concerns of the aspirants.
“No they won’t close the [process]. They can’t do it. I am telling you the thing is illegal. The process is unconstitutional,” Mr Spio-Garbrah told Evans Mensah on Multi TV’s PM Express, Tuesday.
Mr Spio-Garbrah, together with seven others – Alban Bagbin, Sylvester Mensah, Stephen Atubiga, Nurideen Iddrisu, Goosie Tanoh, Kojo Bonsu and Elikplim Agbemava – want the nomination fees, or fees for collection of forms, to be pegged at GH¢ 5,000 and filing fees reduced to GH¢100,000.
Nomination fee was recently hiked to GH¢20, 000 and filling fee pegged at GH¢400,000, 700% on the previous cost.
This situation has been condemned by the eight apart from former President John Mahama, whose nomination form was picked on Monday by some loyal party supporters.
The disgruntled aspirants have petitioned the Council of Elders, chaired by former President Jerry John Rawlings, to looking into the matter.
in a response to the raging controversy within the largest opposition party, Mr Rawlings called for a review of the nomination and filing fees.
”I doubt if anyone of us who has served with integrity, relying on our salaries can raise these filing fees unless we engaged in some unethical behaviour while in office; Unless we abused or misused our positions during our tenure,” Mr Rawlings was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his office.
Speaking on PM Express about the controversy, Mr Spio-Garbrah said because the NEC breached a glaring party constitutional requirement in setting the fees, a Tuesday, December 4, deadline for picking of forms will likely be suspended or postponed.
“Did they consult the Council of Elders? That is all you have to ask them. Just asked them: ‘I read your constitution that you must consult your Council of Elders, did you consult them?’ Let’s wait and see,” he said.
He added: We know that consultation has not taken place. As long as that has not taken place, constitutionally and legally, this process is dead in the water,”
Taking part in the discussion was another presidential hopeful and former Kumasi Mayor, Kojo Bonsu, who said the excuse given by the party’s General-Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, that the fees will boost funds for the cost-intensive primaries on January 19 does not hold water.
“I think it is a very lazy way of fundraising. We have to think very deeply…and find a different way of collecting money,” he said.
He said filing fees should not be the principal means of raising funds for the party.