Law professor and activist, Professor Kwaku Asare, popularly known as Kwaku Azar has slammed the Electoral Commission for demanding exorbitant fees from Presidential candidates ahead of the 2020 polls.
In a post on Facebook, Mr Azar described the increase in cost of filing fee as ‘unlawful’insisting government agencies are fully funded to provide services to the public hence they cannot just charge the public whatever they want.
See full post below:
Government agencies are fully funded to provide services to the public. As such, they cannot just charge the public whatever they want for whatever reasons.
ACT 983 provides for the regulation of their fees and charges and for related matters.
Under the Act, to charge at all, first these agencies, including the EC, must publish regulations, which, of course, has to be placed in Parliament where it undergoes vetting.
CHRAJ cannot wake up and start asking us to pay ?50,000 per complaint to weed out non-serious complaints any more than the EC can ask general election candidates to pay ?100,000 to get on the ballot.
It has to publish regulations, which Parliament, under pressure from the people, will reject.
Some say the EC can charge whatever it wants to weed out non-serious candidates.
I say show me someone who voluntarily hands over his or her hard earned ?100,000 to the EC, without asking for the authority of the EC to impose that tax or penalty, and I will show you someone who will be a bad steward of the public purse.
By the same token, the EC cannot levy a registration tax on voters to weed out non-serious ones.
The EC is not a tax collector, a for profit-entity, a seriousness inspector or in any way set up to impose charges, let alone excessive ones, on general election candidates.
Rather, its task includes making sure political parties timely file their financial reports and making same available to the public for vetting.
Its task is to get dirty money out of our politics not exacerbate the problem.
In short, fiats to impose fees are not just corruption-enhancing and discriminatory against the poor, they are also unlawful.