Some eight flagbearer aspirants of the biggest opposition party, NDC have demanded that immediate steps be taken to ensure free and fair elections in the primaries.
Alban Bagbin, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Sylvester Mensah, Stephen Atubiga, Nurudeen Iddrisu, Goosie Tanoh, Kojo Bonsu and Elikplim Agbemava want the nation’s Electoral Commission to handle the electoral process rather than the party’s structures.
Currently, the Electoral Commission has a supervisory role in the elections but the eight, in a lengthy petition to the NDC’s Council of Elders want this changed.
“…the Council of Elders procures (in consultation with Aspirants and other stakeholders) the immediate involvement of the Electoral Commission to conduct (not just supervise) the Primaries on the basis of the revised Guidelines to ensure free, fair, and credible elections,” they wrote.
Read: NDC chairman, General Secretary petitioned to step aside
The ‘concerned’ aspirants also want the party to publish the electoral register of the party to “for inspection and use by all aspirants”.
The presidential primaries slated for January 19, 2019, is also being rushed according to the petitioners.
They want enough time to be given to the to-be candidates to campaign and since the world is preparing for Christmas break, they believe the short period would be inimical to the integrity of the elections.
In their, petition, the eight have also asked for a downward review of the nomination and filing fees for the flagbearer elections.
Read: ‘Why the rush?’ – 8 NDC flagbearer aspirants reject Jan. 19 primaries
They want both fees reduced from the current GHS420, 000 to GHS150, 000. The eight will boycott the filing process if this demand is not met.
Party founder, former Head of State, Jerry John Rawlings has backed calls for the monumental fee to be reduced.
I doubt if anyone of us who has served with integrity, relying on our salaries can raise these filing fees unless we engaged in some unethical behaviour while in office; unless we abused or misused our positions during our tenure. https://t.co/1PP38Cc62a pic.twitter.com/7LAiqNJmNx
— Jerry John Rawlings (@officeofJJR) 3 December 2018
In a tweet Monday morning, he wrote: “I doubt if anyone of us who has served with integrity, relying on our salaries can raise these filing fees unless we engaged in some unethical behaviour while in office; unless we abused or misused our positions during our tenure”.