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10.08.2006 Politics

Prof. Mills & Co To Pay 200 Million Cedis

By GNT
Prof. Mills & Co To Pay 200 Million Cedis
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Aspirants gunning for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) ticket for 2008 would have to push their hands deeper down into their pockets to bring out between a 100 and 250 million cedis to pay for their filing fees.

The Party's National Executive Committee is expected to slap its stamp of approval on the proposed fees later this week at a meeting expected to discuss crucial issues relating to the party's organization and strategy for 2008.

It would be the first time that the Dr Kwabena Agyei-led new leadership of the biggest opposition party would hold such a major executive meeting, since taking office in December last year.

Despite protests against the proposed filing fees from within the NDC, party sources told CITI NEWS that it is certain that National Executive Committee of the NDC would not approve anything below 100 million cedis.

But for a party that claims absolute allegiance to the principles of social democracy, critics insist that the figures being quoted are too much of the high side.

Others say the NDC's apparent financial crisis is to blame for the high filing fees being proposed.

The NDC is currently battling a huge debt of over 365 million cedis being blamed on former party Chairman, Dr Obed Asamoah.

A Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, was recently quoted by media reports as accusing Dr Obed Asamoah of being solely responsible for the huge pile of debt under which the former ruling party is currently reeling.

He claimed that 204 million cedis is owed the Socialist International, and the remaining 120 million cedis owed in rent in respect to the party's Kokomlemle Headquarters.

According to him, 32 million cedis is owed in phone bills. He was also quoted as alleging that some party vehicles had gone missing, some sold and others used for programs under what he termed "murky circumstances".

However, former Acting NDC General Secretary, Bede Ziedeng, has rubbished allegations that Dr Obed Asamoah should be held responsible for the over 365 million cedis debt he left behind for his former party, before deserting it to form the Democratic Freedom Party.

He told CITI NEWS that the allegations are "unfortunate, misleading, ridiculous, and a calculated attempt to discredit the former NDC Chairman".

Mr Bede Ziedeng told CITI NEWS that had those holding themselves up as NDC gurus made meaningful financial contribution to the NDC after it lost power in 2001, the party would not have been saddled with the huge debt that has now become the subject of a blame game.

Critics are therefore blaming the NDC's debt situation as the reason behind the party's resolve to fork out close to 200 million cedis in filing fees from the pockets of aspirants gunning for the party's 2008 ticket.

However, a Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Baba Jamal, insists that such claims are misplaced.

"If you consider the huge expenses the party makes on the running of its offices and structures nationwide, this is just s drop in the ocean", Baba Jamal told CITI NEWS, in response to criticism that the proposed filing fees are too high.

Baba Jamal went on to put up a strong mathematical defense for the proposed filing fees, claiming the national economy and the strength of the cedi are to blame.

Mr Baba Jamal confirmed to CITI NEWS that but for the Social Democratic beliefs of the NDC, the figures could be higher.

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