The headquarters of the Electoral Commission (EC) in Accra will, on Thursday, September 29 and Friday, September 30, 2016, witness a beehive of activities when presidential aspirants besiege the commission with their supporters to file their nomination forms to contest the presidential election slated for December 7.
The aspirants of eight parties, however, filed successfully with the EC and contested the general election.
So far, 23 presidential aspirants have already picked their forms from the EC.
They are made up of aspirants of 16 political parties and seven independent ones.
Already, the issue of nomination fees has become a subject of contention, with the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) running to court to challenge the rationale for the fees.
The EC has fixed GH¢50,000 for presidential aspirants and GH¢10,000 for parliamentary hopefuls.
But while the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), the dominant opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the All People’s Congress (APC) and the IPP are indifferent about the fees being charged by the EC, other political parties, including the PPP, the People’s National Convention (PNC), the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the NDP, among others, have strongly kicked against what they term high fees being charged by the EC.
It is expected that a large crowd of party supporters will besiege the EC headquarters on Thursday and Friday to support their parties to file the nominations for their presidential aspirants.
Although the premises of the EC is a security zone, the party supporters will defy all odds to showcase the strength of their parties and this will require extra security at the commission.
In 2012, the parties that were successful in filing to contest the elections, together with their supporters, left the EC premises with fanfare as they danced to brass band music.
This year’s filing is not expected to be any different, as supporters will be on the EC premises in their numbers with loud speakers and brass band music.
EC not decided
The EC is, however, yet to decide on whether to revise the filing fees for both presidential and parliamentary aspirants.
It had earlier explained that the fees were fixed in accordance with the law and as such the money collected would be deposited in the Consolidated Fund if the presidential and parliamentary candidates failed to garner 25 per cent and 12.5 per cent votes, respectively, during the general election.
The political parties which have picked nomination forms for their presidential aspirants so far are the NDC, the NPP, the PPP, the NDP, the United Development System Party (UDSP), the PNC and the United Love Party (ULP).
Others are the IPP, the United Progressive Party (UPP), the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), the United Front Party (UFP), the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), the APC, the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) and the Reform Patriotic Democrats (RPD).
The independent candidates are Mr Jacob Osei-Yeboah, Mr Kwaku Antwi Owusu, Mr Lawrence Yamil Nketia, Mr Kwame Asiedu Walker, Chief Dr Yaw Kumi, John Alex Hamah and Major Ibrahim Rida (retd).
Meanwhile, the EC says all is set for it to receive the nomination forms of presidential and parliamentary aspirants, saying that the commission does not intend to extend the date.
The Director of Elections at the EC, Mr Samuel Tetteh, in an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday, said the commission would receive the nomination forms, together with the filing fees of GHc50,000 for presidential aspirants and GHc10,000 for parliamentary aspirants in banker’s draft.
According to him, the EC would set a date for the balloting of positions on the ballot paper after the parties had returned their nomination forms.
He said the commission would do the balloting for positions the way it did it for the 2012 elections, saying that system was effective and very successful, compared to previous years when positions on the ballot papers were determined by which political party sent its nomination forms first.
Mr Tetteh said the old method was full of problems, including people queuing on the EC premises early in the morning with objects such as stones and sticks in order to be the first to submit the forms.
Source: radioxyzonline.com/with additional files from graphic