Head of Advocacy and Policy Engagement at the Center for Democratic Development (CCD) in Ghana Dr Kojo Pumpuni Asante has criticised the Electoral Commission’s filing fees for presidential aspirants.
Dr Kojo Asante said the EC should set a fee that covers the cost for service rendered and not use the opportunity to generate funds for its operations.
His comments come after the Commission on Monday announced a filing fee of ¢100,000 for presidential nominees and ¢10,000 for parliamentary candidates.
“If you are estimating the cost, it has to cover the cost of administering that particular service. It is possible that in some circumstance you can adjust for some margins in order to generate some internal funds,” he told JoyNews’ Prime Morning.
“It has to be within reason”, he stated.
He said the Electoral Commission must be considerate in its charges to individuals who have presented themselves to be voted for and ready to partake in political processes.
“A margin of 10 per cent increment would be enough. It cannot be a basis for generating income”, he added.
Per his calculation, he believes an amount of ¢5,000 would be prudent and enough for a Presidential filing fee. But additional expenditure aside day-to-day work incurred could increase such fee to a considerate charge.
To buttress his point, Dr Asante said even in the US they only charge a nominal fee of about $500 for a presidential filing fee.
“The idea of inflating cost to raise revenue for the Commission is unprincipled, completely unprincipled”, he stated.
The Head of Advocacy at CDD, Ghana is worried that the multi-party system in the country would be defeated if it is characterised with such monetisation.
He said the Electoral Commission should respect the reason for engaging in such exercise since it is not a venture for selling commodities such as flour.
“This is not Ghana Water Company or Electricity Ghana Cooperation. This is the Electoral Commission of Ghana. That’s why we insist the right funding for the Electoral Commission is done”, he stated.