Politics of Tuesday, 4 December 2018
Source: Abraham Awuriki Yeboah
Ghana Leadership Union (GLU) is extremely concerned about the trend of money influences in Ghana politics and the diminished aspirations of any good young person in Ghana to survive the trend!
In a recent news item published by myjoyonline.com on 29th November 2018, that is also making rounds in major news bulletins, the topic is the exorbitant filing fees and forms in one of the two major political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party.
Ghana is not a communist nation and we are not advocating free registration fees for those who want to get into politics. No! There is no doubt Ghana has some rich people and some reported as millionaires and even billionaires. What the Ghana Leadership Union stands for is leadership that emerges from honest selection of our best people for the high offices of Parliament and the Presidency.
According to the reports, Gh 400,000 and 20, 000 respectively, are being set as the fees for candidates and forms, by the NDC, from aspirants who wish to contest for the candidacy to eventually become the flag bearer of the NDC for the 2020 Presidential elections.
The Electoral Commission as a major stakeholder in our electioneering processes hiked the Presidential filing fee from Ghc 10,000 in 2012, to Gh 50,000 in 2016. No accounting or rationale was given. This action elicited a public protest that culminated in some legal actions for a judicial determination.
Ghana leadership Union is of the opinion that under no circumstances should presidential aspirants be made to pay such exorbitant filing fees.
Ghana leadership Union is concerned about the ethical and moral atmosphere we are building as a society!
Obviously, such a policy only avails power to the very rich, but at what expense to the moral and ethical values and standards of a society that finds it hard to punish crimes! How about the less financially endowed but somebody like our founding father Kwame Nkrumah possessing the monumental capabilities of a leader. Are they forever banned then?
In the best interest of the state, Presidential filing fee should not exceed say one year salary of a School teacher with a University degree with say ten years on the job in our society. This is still a tough requirement for more than 90% of our people. Some limit must be set for public office and the ostentatious display of money and the ethical corruption of our society must stop.
Ghana Leadership Union is of the opinion that in an indirect way, the Electoral Commission is subtly contributing to this extreme class division and condemnable practice in our electoral process. We contend that it should not be encouraged anymore in our history since the Electoral Commission is being funded by the state. However, the EC can charge some minimal fees to pay for some extra administrative purposes.
Nobody is saying any poor man should be able to apply. However, payment of such outrageously exorbitant fees as filing fees certainly has the potential of raising the bar to limit the chances of those endowed with good capabilities to ever have a chance to spearhead the affairs of our country. It is a recipe for corruption because one would be tempted to see payment of such fees as an investment to wrestle for power and after capturing power would want to recoup such investment in the shortest possible time whiles also trying to satisfy their cronies and financiers who helped in attaining the height of power.
The resolution by the leadership of NDC to receive Ghc 400,000 as filing fees could be reviewed to satisfy all quarters. We hereby with this communiqué implore the leadership of the party to take into cognizance the tenets of participatory democracy in order to rescind that decision so they could come out with a reasonable amount that would ease the way for all serious members who are ready to contest for the flag bearer candidacy. A social democratic government system should think of avoiding an image of exclusiveness. Paying exorbitant fees is not a benchmark for the assessment of one’s competence but would rather truncate the vision of those with good potential to lead their party and the country.
In light of the aforementioned, we are calling on the leadership of the party to reason with sections of the party loyalist who are contesting this decision in particular and also reason with other well-meaning Ghanaians who are opposed to this decision. We still maintain that payment of such exorbitant fees is certainly not the best way forward. It is very retrogressive and against the tenets of contemporary participatory democracy.