EC’s filing fee not only discriminatory but unlawful – Kwaku Azar
Law professor and activist, Professor Kwaku Asare, popularly known as Kwaku Azar has taken on the Electoral Commission (EC) over the cost of filing fee it announced for presidential aspirants and parliamentary aspirants.
The law professor says the cost is not only discriminatory but unlawful.
In a post on his Facebook page, Kwaku Azar said government agencies are fully funded to provide services to the public hence they cannot just charge the public whatever they want.
He asserts that the EC and other agencies must publish regulations, which must be brought before parliament for vetting.
Read his 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.
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