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What is the purpose of the GH¢100k filing fee – Asiedu Nketiah queries EC

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General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia has questioned the rationale behind the Electoral Commission’s (EC) decision to charge GH¢100,000 as filing fee towards the upcoming December polls.

According to him, all the reasons being given by the EC are unfounded and thus asked the EC for further explanation on the purpose and use of the funds.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express he asked: “Is the deposit supposed to be a contribution towards the funding of the elections? Or it is supposed to be a deterrent to prevent people who are otherwise not serious candidates from contesting? Or what is the purpose?”

He added that it was difficult to make a proper judgement as to the basis of the quoted amount since “the commission has not been able to explain sufficiently the purpose of this deposit”.

The Electoral Commission has explained that the funds being contributed by the political parties in the form of filing fees are to be used to support the election process come December 2020.

An assertion the NDC General Secretary has vehemently opposed.

He refused to accept the explanation that “the deposit is supposed to go towards funding the course of the election because the constitution is very very clear that expenses the electoral commission and others accrue is supposed to be charged directly on the consolidated fund”.

“And so there is no provision anywhere which says that the commission’s activities ought to be funded by deposits of candidates. So that argument is not valid,” he stated emphatically.

According to him, the constitution fully spells out how and where the EC can fund their activities and those avenues for funding do not include political parties.

Asiedu Nketiah explained that unlike political parties who charge exorbitant fees as a means to pay for their internal electioneering processes, the EC has the consolidated fund to fall on.

“At least we know that when political parties are fixing their filing fees, the purpose of the filing fees is to partly raise money to defray the cost of holding the elections itself, otherwise the activity cannot happen,” he said.

The NDC General Secretary bemoaned the negative impact of such exorbitant filing fees on the nation’s democracy as a whole.

He referred to several research findings that have concluded that the cost of politicking in Ghana is on the rise, which effectively threatens our democracy and contributes to the country’s challenge with corruption.

“If you’re going to put people in office and the process of getting into that office is so expensive that the salaries of elected officials cannot be expected to reasonably defray the cost of getting into that office, then it is obvious that the elected person would have to look elsewhere to defray the cost,” he added.

He also revealed that political parties have in the past emplored the state to provide some form of subsidy to the political parties to help reduce the cost of individual party activities.

“And also it is no news that political parties have been arguing for some state funding so that politicking becomes less expensive in the country. So far we don’t seem to have gotten any part-funding or subsidy or anything. So parties are left to their own design as to how to raise funds to conduct their internal activities,” he stated.

SOURCE: Myjoyonline.com

POLITICS

Agyapa deal teaches Ghanaians Akufo-Addo came to power on rhetoric – Amidu

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Martin Amidu, Special Prosecutor

• Martin Amidu has opened up the conversation on Agyapa Royalties Transactions

• He said the transaction shows that Akufo-Addo came into the office on rhetoric

• He indicated that his article demonstrates what consequences await the Special Prosecutor

Martin A. B. K. Amidu, the formal Special Prosecutor has opened another conversation on the Agyapa Royalties Transaction where the Akufo-Addo-led government wants to invest the country’s royalties in a tax haven.

According to him, the analysis on the Agyapa Royalties deal “teaches all Ghanaians that this Government came to power on the strength of the rhetorical abilities of a candidate who had perfected the art of saying one thing and doing exactly the opposite”.

In his latest article copied to GhanaWeb, the former deputy Attorney General and Minister for Justice explained:

“The Office of the Special Prosecutor and the first Special Prosecutor were intended as [a] mere window dressing to Ghanaians and [the] world while the public purse continued to be raped through purposeful corruption activities on the blind side of the voters who brought the President into power.

I was hoodwinked like many other Ghanaians, first to support the Kabuki campaign of candidate Nana Akufo-Addo for President during the 2016 elections and secondly to accept to be the Special Prosecutor (in the teeth of my initial refusal to be nominated for the office of Special Prosecutor) with the assurance of real independence to perform the functions of that Office. I never phantom that the President I trusted and upon whose honour I accepted the office merely wanted to use my known public reputation and integrity to foster suspicious corruption and corruption activities in his government. I wish the next Special Prosecutor good luck during his tenure.”

Amidu further indicated that his article demonstrates what consequences await any appointee of this Government who takes literally as I did, the President’s rhetoric of “be citizens’ and not “spectators”.

“The Agyapa Royalties Transactions anti-corruption analysis and assessment report was done professionally without fear or favour, affection, or ill will. When our political rhetorical President saw that the report implicated him, his family and friends in suspected corruption activities, an official government anti-corruption assessment supported by law became an instrument of political damage control for his government.

The President not only sought to interfere for me to shelve the report from the public, but the President also went further after failing to have my co-operation, to lead and signal his family and friends kabuki dance ensemble to assassinate my character, my reputation and possibly my person as evidenced by the actions and pronouncements of his supporters,” Martin Amidu said.

He argues, ‘“Time is everything”, indeed’ but I am not, as a citizen of Ghana, going to be intimidated by the fear of death or the use of the power of the state at the disposal of any President and his cohorts from continuing to defend the 1992 Constitution as enjoined by the Constitution itself. I refuse to be intimidated by the Nana Akufo-Addo, family, and friends’ Kabuki theatre into a culture of silence if I remain their target for damnation. Fortunately, other suspected corruption activities of this Government such as the procurement of the Sputnik V vaccines and others are currently topical suspected corruption activities.

The apolitical #FixTheCountry movement and the galvanized attempts by the government to suppress the expression of its free will shows how silence through fear can negate the citizen’s rights under our Constitution. Let all of us as patriotic Ghanaians resist at the peril of our comfort and lives the attempt by this government to suppress our rights to defend the 1992 Constitution. That is the only surest way to protect the Constitution and put Ghana First.”

Read below his full article.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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POLITICS

NDC has no reason to worship Mahama – Moshake

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Former President John Dramani Mahama

Executive Member of the Tema East branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Stephen Ashitey Adjei, has dispelled sentiments in the NDC that without the leadership of former President John Dramani Mahama, the party does not stand a chance of winning the 2024 election.

In a write-up, the man who is popularly called Moshake denounces that point of view as symptomatic of hero worship and that the claim is bereft of any proof.

“The claim that we need Mahama in order to have a winnable campaign in 2020 is absolutely bereft of logic no matter the angle you look at it from. It is a bad symptom of blind hero-worship,” Moshake wrote.

According to him, “If it is in terms of raising campaign funds to prosecute the campaign then we ought to know that what attracts money to campaigns like that of the NDC is the reputation of the party itself and not its leader – NDC is a party which has alternated in government before and is the only party with any worthwhile chance of winning against the NPP so investors will be drawn to it no matter the flagbearer.”

He continues that, “and if it is in terms of marketable personality then there are many presidential materials in our great party – all those worried about this aspect of the argument have to do is cast their minds back to the last Presidential primary and remember that a number of great personalities contested Mr. Mahama.”

The firebrand NDC Executive Member also points out that between former President Mahama and the other presidential materials within the party, “the others carry less baggage than Mr. Mahama.”

“Having a flagbearer for 2024 who is not John Mahama means that we will not have to do with the “incompetence’ tag which has stuck on Mr. Mahama, we will not have to deal all over again with the corruption tags and the sense disillusionment that people have with the Mahama brand.”

According to Moshake, the NDC stands a very good chance of returning to power in 2024 because of what he says is a snowballing implosion that could render the ruling NPP asunder along the Bawumia and Alan Kyeremanten fault lines.

“It is no secret that anybody who has any political experience at all sees trouble ahead for the NPP over the Bawumia, Alan Kyeremanten question. The pro-Bawumia camp wants him to become NPP flagbearer to deodorize NPP’s reputation as an Akan party while those on the other side think the time has finally come for Alan Kyeremanten to lead the NPP.

“An implosion is almost inevitable, but an NPP implosion does not automatically translates into advantage for NDC. It depends on how the NDC positions itself when the opportunity comes and the first best step to take is to have a new flagbearer who is more marketable than whoever the NPP can offer.

“In my opinion, Mr. Mahama has too much baggage to deal with and it would be a grave mistake to allow him be the object of a hero-worship,” Moshake wrote.

Source: Nana Bonsu, Contributor

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POLITICS

Sir John’s funeral: ‘Forgive Prez, Veep, others for breaching Coronavirus law – NPP appeals

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Regional Minister Akufo Addo BawumiaPresident Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia

A communication team member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Solomon Kusi Appiah, says Ghanaians must forgive President Akufo-Addo and his Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and other appointees who attended the funeral of late Sir John over the COVID-19 protocol breaches.

He admitted that the safety protocols were breached but it was not intentional, hence the public must forgive the leaders who were present at the funeral.

President Akufo-Addo is currently under pressure to apologize because he has been accused of supervising the breach of the restrictions on funerals and social distancing at the funeral.

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has called for a probe and prosecution of the organizers of the funeral.

“We call on the law enforcement agencies to investigate and deal with organizers of this and any similar events to serve as a deterrent to others who intend to endanger the public health of our nation,” part of the statement read.

Scores of mourners throng the Sakora Wonoo Junior High School in the Kwabre East District of the Ashanti Region, to pay their last respect to the late NPP stalwart.

The mourners included President Akufo-Addo, Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame, Minister of Energy, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, and some prominent members of the NPP and NDC.

Reacting to this, Solomon Kusi Appiah said the crowd that mobbed the Vice President and those who participated in the funeral were there to appreciate the good works of the current government.

He argued because the personalities were public officials, the crowd that stormed the funeral was definitely going to happen.

“Ghanaians should forgive us. This is not going to happen again. The Covid-19 is still with us, and for us to defeat it, we have to avoid mass gatherings. We are appealing to Ghanaians to forgive us. It will not happen again. To every rule, there is an exception, but we are sorry,” he said on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm.

Source: rainbowradioonline.com

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