Politics of Monday, 3 December 2018
Social commentator and Financial Analyst, Sydney Casely-Hayford, has described the processes leading up to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential primaries as a farce.
Nomination forms for the aspirants will cost GHc 20,000, while the filing fee will cost GHc 400,000.
The figure for the filing fee in particular, has been met with complaints by some aspirants. In his submission on The Big Issue, Mr. Casely-Hayford said he actually doesn’t have a problem with the GHc400,000 cost for the filing fee.
“This is a private club. It is a group of people with like-minded views who have decided they are going to come and do politics. It is entirely up to them,” he said.
But the financial analyst did not see the need for GHc2o,ooo to be paid to pick up a form.
“If you think about just to pick up a form, GHc20,000 for the form; I think that is outrageous. It would have been better for them to have said GHc5 for the form and GHc425,415 cedis for the form. But to charge GHc20,000 for the form, what kind of paper are you using?”
Mr. Casely-Hayford essentially agreed with the assertion that aspirants needed to demonstrate a fundraising prowess.
“The most important thing is that you can pay your GHc400,000 in order to demonstrate your ability to raise funds.”
But as far as the process is concerned, he said “the whole thing for me is a farce. It could have been done in a far more modern way.”
He argued that the NDC could have leveraged on technology to significantly reduce the cost of running these elections.
This was in light of suggestions that the party’s coffers were heavily depleted after holding constituency and national executive elections in the last six months.
“If they were serious and they were determined to move one step further into the modern era, somebody could have created a simple application and they could have used that application to do their voting. They don’t need to bus people all the way to one particular point.”
The NDC’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has maintained that the fees announced ahead of the presidential primary on January 19, 2019 is reasonable.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia said the fees will help cater for the expensive cost associated with holding elections.
The criticism notwithstanding, the National Organizer of the NDC, Joshua Akamba, has said the party is open to dialogue over concerns that the filing fee is too expensive.
“Our doors are wide open for anybody that wants to make another suggestion. We are a democratic party. We believe in that,” he said to Citi News.