Flagbearer for the Convention People’s party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet has expressed optimism about the party’s readiness to handle issues regarding presidential and parliamentary filing fees ahead of the upcoming 2020 elections.
This follows the Electoral Commission’s increase of filing fees for candidates in the run-up to the 2016 polls.
What used to be 500 percent less was increased to GHC 50,000 and GHC10,000 for presidential and parliamentary candidates respectively.
Having attributed their loss in the previous polls to the EC’s sudden increase in filing fees, Ivor Greenstreet says he is confident that the new executives elected to lead the party into victory, will emerge with smart strategies to avoid being hit again by any unexpected figures.
This, he says, may include measures to regulate the number of candidates to vie in this elections.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with GhanaWeb’s Wonder Ami Hagan, he said,
“We don’t know if this EC is going to increase it to 20,000 or reduce it. We have no idea, but obviously, October is not far away and that is when the filing is due. Now we have a new executive that are working towards the documentation required by the Electoral Commission. We may have to be more strategic. We’ll have to decide if we’ll still file the same number or whether it will be less.”
“If you’d remember, on that occasion, we filed 222 candidates which was a third after the NDC and NPP so we’ll look at whether it will be a similar number or a lower number or a higher number. The new executives will be in place, we’ll sit down. The research team are there, the political affairs team are there, they’ll be working together and I’m sure they’ll come up with a game plan.”
Recounting what happened in the 2016 polls, Mr. Greenstreet described the then Electoral Commission’s actions as a ‘low blow’.
He also accused them of seeking, through that means, to advocate duopoly for the two biggest parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC); a move which significantly impacted the party’s chances of getting ahead in the race.
“We considered it to be an abuse of discretion by the public institution at the time. That is what they did the last time and that is not how public institutions should behave. There are ways public institutions are supposed to behave. For instance, if you told me your electricity bill is 100 Ghana cedis, you may expect it to go up to 150 and even that is a huge jump but for it to move from a 100 Ghana cedis to a 1,000 Ghana cedis, I think there’ll be a riot on the street and we are supposed to be practicing a multi-party democracy not a duopoly.”
“It seemed as though the steps that the EC took were to almost entrench the NDC and the NPP and if an ordinary farmer, nurse, may not be able to participate in that monetocracy where it’s about the NPP and the NDC and their ill-gotten gains that they have only gained, not from hard work but steering the affairs of our nation on the repeat of 28 years so we felt that that was an unfortunate incidence. We felt that the increase in filing fees without notice from a 100 to a 1000 percent was a low blow,” he continued.