Aspirants of the impending parliamentary primaries of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Volta Region are spitting fire over the Regional Executive Committee’s (REC) decision to charge an extra GH¢ 10,000.00 as investment levy.
A statement issued by the regional party announcing the lifting of ban on campaign for the 2019 parliamentary primaries quoted the approved fees for the picking and filing of nomination forms at GHC 25,000.00 for males and GHC 12, 500.00 for females aspirants and People with Disabilities (PWDs)
However, the statement signed by the regional secretary, James Gunu, indicated that Regional Executive Committee has approved an investment levy to be paid by all aspirants.
New male entrants are required to pay GH¢10,000.00 while sitting MPs, current executives of the party at all levels, female new entrants and People With Disabilities (PWDs) are required to pay GH¢5,000.00.
According to the secretary, the investment levy should be paid into a regional account as provided by the regional treasurer.
This directive has, however, not gone down well with some of the aspirants who are accusing the regional party of extortion.
They argued REC had all the time to introduce levies on party people and collect same if there were such plans to generate revenue for the regional party.
The bitter aspirants averred that to add an extra GH¢10,000.00 to the monies they are expected to pay for picking and then filing the nomination forms is not reasonable and stretches their finances beyond practical acceptance.
According to them, this levy could have been declared a long time ago and then those expected to pay given time to spread the payment over a period of time.
One aspirant who preferred to stay unanimous questioned whether inability to pay the levy would lead to disqualification, since this was not approved at the national level.
“And besides the Volta Region is the only region that has included a levy as part of the electoral selection process,” he said.
Today is the deadline for the filing nominations.
When contacted by Ghanacrusader, the regional secretary justified the decision to charge investment levies, saying the party structures consented to the idea and it’s implementation.
“This is the world bank of the party. We want to win the 2020 elections hands-down. So we need the resources to deploy our campaign to every corner of the region,” James Gunu indicated.
He said the regional branch of the party took a good decision and does not necessarily need approval from the national headquarters in Accra.
James Gunu asked aggrieved aspirants to contact the right channels of the party to seek redress.