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Parties high filing fees inimical to democratic gains – Ayeboafoh

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Mr Yaw Boadu Ayeboafoh, Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), has expressed concern about the high filing fees political parties charge for their internal party primaries, including presidential and parliamentary primaries.

He said the practice if not checked would erode the gains made in consolidating the country’s democracy.

Mr Ayeboafoh said this at an engagement between the Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs (MoFA) and political parties in Accra.

The event, which was under the theme: “Monetization of politics in Ghana- A focus on the solution,” is being executed under the ministry’s strategic objective of deepening democratic governance.

Mr Ayeboafoh said political parties, over the period, had accused the Electoral Commission (EC) of charging high filing fees for persons contesting presidential and parliamentary elections.

They argued that the EC was using money as the basis for disqualifying people from contesting an election.

He, however, explained that in the case of the EC, a candidate who secured a certain number of votes during the election had their monies refunded but not so with political parties.

He said presidential and parliamentary candidates, who can gunner 25 per cent and 12.5 per cent votes respectively during election got their monies refunded.

Mr Ayeboafoh also called for a common salary policy for everybody in the public sector, including the President.

He said the President could be the standard measure and everybody placed on the same salary scheme and graduated to the lowest person “so that when there is salary increase it affects everybody equally rather than people trying to join politics to better their welfare.”

Commenting, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, noted that excessive monetization of politics was a harmful canker that was likely to affect the democratic governance of the country.

He said nobody entered politics to be a “Father Christmas” and that whatever a person planted today, he would want to reap tomorrow, adding “that is the realities of our times.”

“Politics unlike what happens in the churches… the churches will tell you to cast your bread upon the waters and you will reap your harvest in the fulness of time.”

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also indicated that the issue of the increasing monetization in politics must stop, adding that the time to address it head-on was now.

“There is no better time than now. This is the most opportune time, in my considered opinion, to begin the change Ghanaians have been waiting for. We cannot bury our heads in the sand anymore,” he added.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also cited the findings of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) and the Centre for Democratic Development’s (CDD) study conducted in February 2018 on the 2016 elections, which revealed that to secure a party’s primary nomination, a candidate had to spend not less than US$86,000. This represented a 57 per cent increase over that of 2012.

In 2020, it costs between $120,000 and $240,000 to become a Member of Parliament (MP). This is supposed to represent primaries only and does not involve the general election.

Dr William Hadzi, Director of Research of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), stressed the need for the country to come out with stringent laws on campaign financing at the national level.

He cited for example situations where powerful private corporate bodies look out for who is going to win the subsequent elections and invest in the key allies in the political class so when they come to power it is payback time, saying these activities corrupts the democratic practice and reduce democratic dividends citizens should get.

Dr Hadzi also called for renewed discussions on State funding of political parties under certain conditions.

Source: GNA

POLITICS

President Akuffo Addo begins 4-day tour of Ashanti

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The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will on Monday October 17, 2022 visit the Kumasi based OTEC 102.9 FM for a an exclusive interview on their breakfast show “Nyansapo “

The regular host of the show who happens to be one of the popular broadcasters in the region, Andrews Korankye Akuoko, affectionary known as Captain Koda will moderate the show.

The visit forms part of a four-day tour of the Ashanti Region which begun on Sunday October 16, 2022.

President Akufo-Addo commenced his tour with a church service at the Saint Cyprians Anglican Church at Fante New in the Kumasi Metropolis.

President Akuffo Addo will later call on the Asante Otumfour Osei Tutu II at the Manhyia Palace after which he will proceed to inspect the ongoing works at Boankra Inland Port Project.

The president will also Commission the long waited Konongo Municipal Hospital in the Asante Akyem Central Municipality.

The president will among other things get comprehensive briefings of security situation in the region from the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and Meeting with Security Officers at Headquarters of Central Command IDRIS Barracks.

One of the major highlights of the tour is the sod cutting event of the four tier Suame Interchange, and per the schedule, President will cut the sod on Tuesday October 18, 2022 which happens to be the third day of his tour.

Source: Myvoicenews.com

 

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National | Politics: Early NPP Flagbearer elections will ensure enough time to prepare for 2024 polls – Subin MP

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There are fresh calls within the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) for an early congress to elect the flagbearer of the party ahead of the 2024 election.

The party is yet to announce modalities for the election of the person to lead the NPP into the next election.

Several names of bigwigs in the party like Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Trades Minister, Alan Kyeremanten and others have come up as persons who may contest the flagbearership position.

But speaking to JoyNews, MP for the Subin Constituency, Eugene Boakye Antwi noted that electing the flagbearer early affords the party and the individual enough time to prepare for what will be a crucial election in 2024.

“Going by experience, my view is that let us hold the super delegates as early as say next spring, March thereabouts, give them four or five months to campaign around the country. By August when Parliament is on recess like this, we vote for both Parliamentary and Presidential, get it off the way.

“The most important thing is that we must look at the party. Akufo-Addo will not be a candidate in 2024 so whoever the candidate will be at that time is the one we should be aiming at selecting, partnering the President in terms of all these Regional tours the President is doing,” he said.

The Legislator recounted how late the party elected its Flagbearer prior to the 2008 elections which he said affected the outcome of the election results.

For this reason, Eugene Boakye Antwi believes the party must not delay in electing its flagbearer for the 2024 elections.

“I am saying that because of what happened to Akufo-Addo in 2008… Nana Akufo-Addo had only about six months to campaign at that time Mills and Mahama had split up the country into two and going various ways, it did affect us,” he recalled.

According to him, the early election of the Flagbearer has the tenacity to affect the outcome of the elections since it affords the party enough time to campaign.

“You give the flagbearer six months before the end of the year so any housekeeping duties will be dealt with at the time…just before Christmas, they hit the ground running they have one year to campaign and you will see the results,” he noted.

Source: Myjoyonline

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Politics: NDC starts constituency elections next week, National Congress slated for December 17

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The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has approved guidelines for the Party’s constituency, regional, and national elections for the next three months.

About  7,900 executives are expected to be elected in a total of 876 elections at the constituency, regional, and national elections.

The Party’s Branch elections, held in about 29,000 branches of the Party across the country, is expected to be completed next week to pave way for the next round of elections.

Per the guidelines, the Party will hold its Constituency elections between 22nd and 23rd October, 2022, while the regional elections would be held between 12th and 13th November, 2022.

The National Congress will be held on December 17, 2022.

Addressing a news conference in Accra on Thursday, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary, NDC, said all aspirants must be members in good standing and must have joined the Party for at least 4 years.

He said a 5-member elections committee would be constituted to supervise the elections at all levels.

Mr Nketia said nomination forms for all the elections would be made available online and that payment for picking and filing of nomination forms would be done electronically.

The NDC will open nominations for its Constituency elections between 20th and 22nd September, 2022, and filing of nominations is slated for 28th to 29th September, 2022.

The nominees would be vetted between 30th September and 2nd October, 2022, and the hearing of appeals would be done on October 5, 2022.

Mr Asiedu Nketia said the opening of nominations at the regional elections would be done between  October 6 and  October 7, 2022, and the filing of nominations between October 14 and October 15, 2022.
He said the main regional elections would be heralded by the Regional Youth Organiser and Women’s Organiser conferences slated for November 11, 2022.

Regarding the National Congress, the NDC will open nominations between 20th and 21st October, 2022, and filing of nominations would be received from 5th November, to  6th November, 2022.

“We will hold the National Youth Organiser and Women conferences on Saturday, December 10, 2022, and the main national Congress will be held on December 17, 2022,” Mr Nketia said.

Filling fees

The NDC said persons living with any form of disability would be offered 50 per cent discount on the filing fees at all levels.

Mr Nketia said aspirants for the Constituency Chairmanship position would pay a filing fee of GHS600 while those vying for the Constituency Vice Chairman, Secretary, Organiser,  Treasurer, and Communications Officer positions will pay GHS400.

Aspirants for the Regional Chairmanship positions would pay a filing fee of GHS 4,000, and those vying for the Regional, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Organiser,  Treasurer, and Communications Officer positions will pay GHS3,000.

“The Youth, Women, and Zongo Caucus Coordinators will pay GHS2,000 and all other deputies will pay GHS1,500,” Mr Nketia said.

The Party said it was yet to finalise the guidelines for the national elections.

As part of measures to address challenges associated with the Tertiary Education Institutions Network (TEIN), Mr Nketia said the Party had resolved that any TEIN Branch must have been credited for at least since 2020 to be eligible to participate in the elections.

Source: GNA

 

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