Alhaji Nuredeen Iddrisu, a flag bearer hopeful of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has disclosed that he still stands by his earlier position that the filing fee slapped on all flag bearer hopefuls is not the best for the party.
The National Executive Committee (NEC), after a meeting at the party’s Headquarters in Accra on Thursday, pegged the cost of the nomination forms for the aspirants at GHȼ 20,000 and the filing fee at GHȼ 400,000.
Filing fee for women and persons with disabilities was also to cost GHȼ 200,000, according to the party’s General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah who announced it to the media on Thursday.
Apart from the mix reactions from a number of aspirants who felt the cost was huge and was at variance with the Social Democratic philosophy of the NDC.
Mr Iddrisu and seven other flag bearer hopefuls petitioned the National Council of Elders of the party, under the chairmanship of the Founder, former President Jerry John Rawlings, to intervene to prevent the party from veering off its social democratic principles.
The eight boycotted the picking of nomination forms as the party opened its doors for them on Monday and Tuesday, to protest the filing fee.
At the time the party closed the sale of forms Tuesday, it was former president John Mahama; a former Vice Chancellor of University of Professional Studies (UPS), Professor Joshua Alabi; Mr Stephen Atubigah; a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority, Mr Sylvester Mensah and second speaker of Parliament, Mr Algban Kingsford Bagbin had picked nomination forms.
The rest who could not pick the nomination forms are former Minister of Trade and Industry, Ekow Spio-Garbrah; a former Mayor of Kumasi, Kojo Bonsu; Nurudeen Iddrisu; private legal practitioner, Elikplim Agbemava, and Augustus Goosie Tanoh.
According to the petitioners, specific issues they had with the guidelines were that the NEC did not meet the procedural requirements set out in Article 42 (1) (f) of the NDC constitution for publishing electoral guidelines.
The NEC, they said, had generally not met standards of stakeholder consultations acceptable in the party, adding that in publishing the guidelines, they NEC exceeded its powers and imposed eligibility criteria not provided for in the party’s constitution.
“These make the guidelines ultra vires to the NDC party constitution and thus null and void,” the petitioners stated.
They also said the guidelines did not provide adequate assurance of a level-playing field for the primary in the context of openly displayed bias on the part of some members of NEC.
The petitioners also objected to NEC’s proposal that the entire electoral process be completed within 45 days from December 5, 2018 to January 19, 2019.
Mr Nuredeen Iddrisu told Ete Sen host, Kwame Minkah, that imposing the filing fees on aspirants was “unreasonable” stressing that it does not speak well of a party that calls its members social democrats.
He said going ahead to take 420,000 cedis from aspirants as filing fee will make the NDC a “capitalist or republican party.”
“We are social democrats,” he noted and said slashing the amount to GHS 100,000 will make sense than what the party announced.
“Give us 100, 000 to pay and the lay man will still see us as social democrats.”
By: Henryson Okrah/myxyzonline.com