Law professor, Kwaku Asare, popularly known as Kwaku Azar has stated that the GHC100,000 filing fee for presidential candidates in this year’s elections is rather a fine imposed on political parties by the Electoral Commission.
In a post on Facebook, he insinuated that the fine was the EC’s own way of suppressing minority parties and pave way for the already known parties to contest in the December polls.
“While it is called a filing fee, in actual fact it is a fine imposed on political parties and independent candidates who do not meet a certain threshold in the general elections. Since the threshold is set arbitrarily high (over 10% percent in both Parliamentary and Presidential elections), the primary, if not the sole, effect of the fine is to penalize the smaller parties and the independent candidates. Put differently, the achieved, if not intended, effect of the fine is to promote and perpetuate the well-known political duopoly,” he wrote.
“I must add that the small parties’ value proposition to the political process should not be measured by the number of votes they are able to garner in the general elections. These Parties bring to the public square issues that are important to their membership and allow such issues to be taken into account whether or not they are successful in the general elections. When they are denied access to the ballot, they are also denied the opportunity to raise these issues that are important to their membership,” he added.