The hope of some six presidential aspirants of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to have the filing fees further reduced to GH¢150,000 by the party appears to have been dashed.
According to DAILY GUIDE’s sources at the NDC headquarters, the leadership of the party has planned not to go beyond the filing fee of GH¢300,000.
The NDC would end the submission of nomination forms tomorrow, and the disgruntled aspirants are not likely to get any respite.
The six aspirants are Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban S.K Bagbin; former Trade and Industry Minister, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah; ex-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah; former Rector of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Joshua Alabi; a cadre, Goosie Tanoh and Alhaji Nurudeen Iddrisu, a businessman.
Joshua Alabi has indicated that he will go ahead to file his nomination just like former President John Mahama, who is also expected to submit nomination forms today despite the protest.
Mr. Mahama is billed to hold a press conference at the Trade Fair Centre few metres away from his home, near Zenith College after submitting his nomination forms through the campaign team.
It is unclear whether the aspirants will go ahead to participate in the congress to elect the flagbearer, which the party leadership appears to be ‘scheming’ for John Mahama.
The six aspirants, together with two others, petitioned the Council of Elders of the party, chaired by former President Jerry John Rawlings, for a downward review of the original filing fee of GH¢400,000.
Following the intervention of the Council of Elders, the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NDC was compelled to slash the fee by GH¢100,000.
But in a typical Oliver Twist fashion, the six aspirants have once again petitioned the Council of Elders to help reduce the filing fee from GH¢300,000 to GH¢150,000.
In the petition, the aspirants said: “We strongly recommend that NEC considers reducing the filing fee down to GH¢150,000 in consonance with GH¢50,000 and GH¢100,000 in 2012 and 2016 respectively.”
“We also appreciate the party’s difficult financial situation, as explained by the General Secretary at out meeting,” the petition indicated.
General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, indicated recently that the NDC, founded by Mr. Rawlings, was broke just two years after being defeated humiliatingly by the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
In finding a solution to the financial crisis, the aspirants gave an assurance that they would gladly raise funds for the NDC, indicating that each of them would make pay GH¢50,000 before the presidential election on January 26, 2019.
They also called on the party to further postpone the submission of nomination forms after the Council of Elders had already postponed the exercise from 13 December to 17 December, 2018.
It’s unclear whether the party would heed their call to once again postpone the date.
Sources said the party has refused to reduce the filing fees because some of the aspirants have declared their intention to file their nomination on Monday, December 17, 2018.