Madam Ursula Owusu, Vice President of FIDA-Ghana and a staunch member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has disclosed that she is fired up for the party’s parliamentary primary, especially in the face of the 50% rebate on the filing fees for female aspirants.

In an interview with The New Crusading Guide, Ursula termed the rebate as the bigger story that the media had failed to capture in the party’s announcement of filing fees for parliamentary aspirants.

She continued that the rebate was a huge step in the line of affirmative action, tasking that all parties learnt from the NPP’s lead – the need to encourage women to participate in national politics.

She said as a grossly under-represented portion of the population, the party’s move was one that was going to make the path to development much easier, “as women form a critical mass of the population, although with only 19 in a house of 230 members.”

Ursla adviced that beyond the 50% rebate, the party must identify strong women candidates, groom them, nurture them and put them in pole position to annex seats in the legislature, while making a strong point that male contestants in areas where women are aspiring wished it could have been reduced, explanations on the components that led to the final amount might be justified.

She asked that the party should also support female aspirants in cash and in kind in a bid to shore them up for the respective positions that they aspire to.

On the much-talked-about GH¢16,000 (¢160,000,000) filing fee, she stated that much as it was a bit on the high side and she wished it could have been reduced, explanations on the components that led to the final amount might be justified.

“Yes, I wished the filing fees could have been waived but again, we have to demonstrate our commitment to the party because as leaders we have to contribute towards the party,” she stated.

Aspirants to a high office as parliament in her opinion, should have enough people who believe in their cause as leaders and to contribute to their dream of being in parliament. “Campaigning is about money nowadays and aspirants must be able to raise it,” the firebrand NPP key figure underscored.

Ursula added, “Even after winning constituency elections, one must go from place to place to campaign… and if you cannot raise funds, do not think about going into this fight.”

The fee, which would be used to support the party at the constituency, regional and national levels, should only be the beginning of strengthening party structures at all levels and as the party gears up for the bigger prize come 2012, she stated.

She however, welcomed the idea that there were discussions for a common ground to be established by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.

On the ground work that she is was doing in respect of the Ablekuma South seat which she has expressed publicly her intent to contest, Madam Owusu disclosed that she would start her campaign soon, but would rather leave the decision to delegates, whom she referred to as the “king makers” who would crown any aspirant.

Source: New Crusading Guide

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