The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), has defended its decision to peg filing fees for its upcoming parliamentary primaries at GHS20,000 and an additional GHS2,000 for picking of forms.
This comes on the back of reports by some members of the party that the fees are too expensive and a ploy to protect some Members of Parliament (MPs).
But according to the party, the fees will largely help cater for the huge cost associated with holding elections as well as support the party's various constituencies.
The party also indicated that “all aspiring parliamentary candidates other than the sitting Members of Parliament will pay a Party Development Fee of GH¢30,000.”
Speaking to Godfred Akoto Boafo on Citi TV‘s current affairs show, Face to Face on Tuesday, the General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu debunked the claim that the high nomination fees are a ploy to protect certain MPs.
“We have instituted a system where we support our party constituencies and regional party offices on a regular basis. When we did the parliamentary primaries for our orphan constituencies, the resources that we raised didn't stay at the headquarters for our use. We instituted a situation that on a monthly basis, our constituencies are getting support for them to be able to run themselves in the constituency with basic things,” he said.
“It is not a ploy at all. Maybe they have different reasons but not the filing and development fee. If you are a party member in the Ashanti Region, knowing very well that the moment you cross this hurdle of primaries, it is likely that if you put in a little more effort, you will become the Member of Parliament, it makes it easier for you, or for the sponsors to support you for your filing fees so I don't think that is enough reason for anybody to say that they will not support you,” he added.
He advised new applicants entering the race to see it as an opportunity to invest in the running of the party.
'It is important that, as new entrants, you show your strength. It is like boxing, if you are going to fight a champion, for instance, you must be able to fight him and beat him. There is nothing untoward about it. I think it is fair that we also motivate people to continue to invest in the running and nurturing of our constituencies so that new entrants will also come and support. The support is not for any personal benefit. It is to the benefit of the entire party in order to get it running on a daily basis,” he said.
NPP Parliamentary Party scheduled for April 25, 2020
The New Patriotic Party has slated April 25, 2020 to elect the remainder of its Parliamentary candidates.
It will also be holding its Presidential Primaries on the same day. The party has already held primaries for constituencies that do not have sitting Members of Parliament.
Mr. John Boadu has called on aspirants to be wary of the party's regulations when nominations are officially opened.
“Until nominations for these primaries are open, members of our party must be cautious and not do anything that goes contrary to the rules and regulations of the party…Until nominations are open, no member of the party is expected to start campaigning.”