The Centre for Democratic Development (CDD)-Ghana has criticized the opposition National Democratic Congress for the huge filing fee set for their presidential primaries.

CDD’s comment comes on the heels of NDC’s justification of the Ghc500,000 fee for flag bearer hopefuls ahead of the 2024 general elections despite concerns over the quantum of the amount.

Addressing the media, General Secretary of the NDC, Fiifi Kwetey catalogued a number of reasons for the half a million Ghana cedis fee which includes the current rising inflation figures as compared to the last four years.

But commenting on the amount on Starr News with Naa Dedei Tettey, the Programs Manager for CDD-Ghana, Paul Aborampah-Mensah says the filing fee for the opposition NDC is unreasonable.

“When they set it at Ghc300,000 we complained so you don’t expect me to congratulate them after it’s been increased. Shot up to over almost 50%. It is the same economic challenges in which these people are being requested to cough Ghc500,000. So, if the nation and country as a whole is struggling dealing with these economic challenges, how can an individual who is going to contest?

“Even if he is going to cough the money from his investments, these investments are also suffering. So, why do we put the burden on the individual if the country cannot cope with it? So, to me no matter how we do it, it’s been the usual excuse. Go and pull out some of the press statements from the start of democracy in the fourth republic and see the argument they make when they are announcing the filing fee and the competition fee for their contestants. It’s the same argument so nothing has changed,” Mr. Aborampah-Mensah added.

The Programs Manager warned that current practice is inimical to the fight against graft as he reiterated calls for a dialogue on political party financing.

 “There are three things; one, either it is a strategy to do away or cut down the number of competitions. Two, it is either they also want to manipulate the system in favor of some people. Thus the higher you set the cost, the higher you challenge people to mobilize resources. The party doesn’t care where people mobilize it because we are in a system where we are not accountable. Even the political parties themselves are not able to pass appropriate accounts required by elections won in the country. How can we follow individuals wherever they get Ghc500,000. We are talking about Ghc500,000 here, it is a systemic challenge that we need to deal with”.

Source: Ghana/ Mensah