The National Executive Committee of the opposition New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) decision to increase the filing fees for the Parliamentary primaries has touched some nerves within the party.
Aspirants seeking to contest the party’s Parliamentary primaries in constituencies with sitting MPs will be required to pay Ghc30,000.
Ghc10,000 out of the total amount will cover filing fees while 20,000 cedis will cater for the development fee.
Incumbent MPs are however exempted from paying the development fees.
However, the NEC’s decision has angered some members of the party.
Richard Nyama, the Chairman of the NPP affiliated pressure group, Young Patriots, told Citi News the filing fee will deter party members from contesting.
“The impression is already out there that the NPP is a bourgeois party. It is a party for the rich and affluent. Just a few years ago, Ghc50,000 was what the Presidential candidates required to register and run as a candidate for the party paid. Today, Parliamentary candidates are paying Ghc30,000,” he lamented.
The worried Nyama added that: “When we use that to run primaries, where are we going to raise money to run for the proper elections. We are killing ourselves. We are already spending too much money and time on internal elections. These things encourage corruption and we should not entertain it.”
But the party General Secretary, Kwabena Agyapong, has defended the decision by the NEC.
He explained that the new fees were increased due to various economic challenges including inflation.
“In 2011, the fee was pegged at 6,000 and if you take into account inflation and all that, I think it is a very modest increase to 10,000 per aspirant which is the case for both sitting MPs and aspirants.”
Agyepong further justified the party’s decision to exempt incumbent MPs from paying the developmental fees saying, “…because of the work that the sitting MPs have done for this party, and the fact that they have made solid contributions to this party, we think it is only fair that if you want to contest them, then you should also contribute a little to the development of our party.”
Meanwhile, the party has made major changes in its internal electoral processes.
Only female aspirants will be allowed to contest sitting female Members of Parliament.
According to the NPP, the move is expected to help the party to at least, maintain the 17 NPP female MPs in Parliament.
Some constituencies in the Ga communities including Ngleshie Amanfrom, Ledzekuku Krowor, Odododiodoo constituencies will also have only indigenous Gas contesting in those areas.