Five out of the ten National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential aspirants failed to beat the deadline set for picking nomination forms for the party’s upcoming presidential primaries, after they petitioned the party over the high cost of filing fees and nomination forms.
The five, Ekow Spio Garbrah, Nurideen Iddrissu, Goosie Tanoh, Kojo Bonsu and Elikplim Agbemava, will not be able to pick nomination forms because the party officially closed nominations today, Tuesday, 4th December, 2018.
The General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has indicated that the party will not extend the date for picking of nomination forms despite protests from some aspirants over the high cost of nomination forms and filing fees.
Meanwhile, five other aspirants, namely John Mahama, Alban Bagbin, Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, and Stephen Atubiga, have picked up their forms.
Alban Bagbin, Atubiga and Joshua Alabi, were signatories to the petition over the high cost of filing fees and nomination forms, but still went ahead to pick up the forms.
It remains to be seen whether the concerns raised in the petition would be addressed, and a new opportunity given for Spio Garbrah and others to pick up their forms.
Petition over filing fees
Nine aspirants, excluding former President John Dramani Mahama, had petitioned the party’s Council of Elders over the GH 20,000 and GH 400,000 costs respectively for nomination forms and filing fees.
Having sighted a party document on guidelines for the conduct of the election, the nine, who form the majority of aspirants for the position, said the party’s plans ahead of the election are “inimical to the interests of the NDC.”
This is despite the NDC’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, saying the fees were moderate.
There are suggestions that the party may have pegged the fee at such high amount as a strategy to trim down the number of contestants and make things easier for Mr. Mahama.
So far, the Mahama camp has not sided with arguments that the amount is too high, although prior to the 2016 elections, the filing fee was just GHS 50,000.
Support for Mahama
Mr. Mahama has had supporters of the NDC rallying around him.
Some 96 National Democratic Congress legislators have purportedly raised over GHc 600,000 for Mr. Mahama’s bid to become the NDC flagbearer, according to the Kumbungu MP, Ras Mubarak.
Scores of supporters also lined-up at Mr. Mahama’s office at Captain Hooks in Cantonments to donate towards his campaign on Monday.