A GIJ student who wants to pick presidential nominations forms will pay GHS 900 as filing fees and other executive portfolios such as, General Secretary, Women Commissioner, External Affairs Commissioner among others will be charged GHS 700.
The Electoral Commission (EC) of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Emmanuel Kumah has endeavoured to defend the charge, which some aspirants have described as ‘outrageous’. However, some members of the student body, as well as the aspirants, have maintained that the filing fees are too expensive, and that most students will be priced out of exercising their political rights
In an interview with KuulPeeps, Mr Kumah said the GIJ-SRC elections will cost GHC 21,000 and that the EC had the burden of mobilizing funds to finance the elections.
He said the GIJ Student Representative Council (GIJ-SRC) was cash-strapped and the commission needed to find money to organize the constitutionally mandatory annual SRC Executive Committee elections.
While sympathizing with the aspirants, the EC was adamant that the filing fees will be reviewed downwards.
“The cost would have been a lot cheaper if the SRC General Assembly had approved the use of electronic machines for the elections. That would have cost us only GHC 11,000,” adding that “a total of GHC 2,500 will be used to print ballot papers alone Kumah said.
He said heightened tensions in the political season at GIJ has also contributed to the high cost of the elections.
“Last year, we had 5 policemen to provide security for the elections but we are hiring 8 policemen for the two-day elections. We will pay them GHC 150 each,” he added.
“I promise to do due diligence and account for every cedi that will be spent to organize the elections.”
So far, 15 aspirants have picked nomination forms at a cost of GHC 100. The election will likely be held on April 22, 2017 and it is unclear whether all 15 aspirants will be able to pay the filing fees when nomination closes on Monday, April 10, 2017.