Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom
The Progressive People’s Party (PPP), has said it does not have enough money to pay the filing fees of its presidential candidate, and the 275 parliamentary candidates across the country, which will amount to almost Ghc2.8 million.
On Friday morning, the PPP’s lawyer, told an Accra High Court the party did not have the required amount of money needed to pay for all of its nominees.
The party said this in defence of it’s injunction suit that sought to stop the Electoral Commission from collecting what it called exorbitant filing fees.
However the court went ahead to dismiss the suit against the Electoral Commission; thereby giving the EC the go-ahead to collect the fees. The party said the charge of GH¢50,000 fee for presidential nominees and GH¢10,000 for parliamentary nominees was an arbitrary use of power by the electoral body.
The PPP’s lawyer, Dennis Ofosu Appiah, further argued in court that, the amount being charged by the EC was not stated in the law. He stated that PNDC law 284 requires the Commission to fix the amount to be charged in the regulations for the elections. He pointed out that regulations 8 and 45 of the CI 94 failed to state the specific amount to be charged.
He told the court that, the PPP risked not participating fully in the 2016 elections if the court did not stop the EC from charging the ‘exorbitant’ amount.
The PPP is expected to cough up an amount of GHc 2.8 million as filing fees for both the presidential and all of its 275 constituencies across the country.
But the lawyer for the EC, Thaddeus Sori,who disagreed with the motion, said the law allows the EC to determine the fee.
Nii Allotey Brew Hammond, PPP Chairman and team presenting Nduom’s forms
He said if the PPP cannot pay the amount, they should have applied for an injunction preventing the EC from taking money from the PPP, and not all other parties since they cannot assume that all other parties cannot pay.
The PPP filed an interlocutory injunction at the High Court on September 19 seeking to restrain the EC from going ahead with the receipt of filing fees from presidential and parliamentary candidates a day before the date scheduled for filing.
This injunction prevented the EC from receiving the filing fees of the various parliamentary and presidential hopefuls though it bizarrely accepted the filing fee of the PPP flagberer, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, who was represented by the party’s Chairman, Nii Allotey Brew Hammond.
The PPP, among other things, was seeking a declaration that Regulation 45 of C.I. 94 is discriminatory, arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.
The EC opened the nominations earlier in September and pegged the filing fees for presidential hopefuls at GHc 50,000 and that of parliamentary nominees at GHc 10,000.
Some aggrieved parties subsequently asked the EC to review the amount describing it as “exorbitant.”