23rd June 2024
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Political parties want registration fee reduced from SSP100 million to SSP20,000

Author: Moyo Jacob Felix | Published: Monday, March 25, 2024

Chairperson of Political Parties Council Engineer James Akol Zachayo takes oath of office alongside members/Courtesy photo

Some political parties have rejected the 50,000 US-dollar (100 million South Sudanese pounds) provisional registration fee set by the Political Parties Council (PPC), terming it a direct contradiction to the principles of democracy and fair political participation.

In their petition letter addressed to the PPC, signed by 14 parties, the groups said the “exorbitant” fee increment from previous 20,000 pounds to USD 50,000 dollars has no legal basis.

Four of the protesting political parties including the National Democratic Movement led by Dr. Lam Akol, are members of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance, SSOA.

Dr. Gai Chol Paul who signed on behalf of the People’s United Forum party said the hefty fee will hinder and discourage citizens from exercising their political rights in the forthcoming elections.

He called on the political parties’ leadership to reconsider its decision and revert the fee to 20,000 South Sudan Pounds.

“We the leaders of political parties seeking to register with the PCC in South Sudan are writing to express our rejection of the recent fee increase for provisional registration,” the group said.

“We are deeply concerned about the sudden and significant rise from 20,000 SSP to 50,000 US Dollars for a provisional license imposed by the current leadership of the PCC.”

“We believe that this exorbitant fee has no legal basis and is in direct contradiction to the principles of democracy and fair political participation.”

The group of political parties said the registration fee should not be a mean of controlling the number of parties but rather a process of legalization.

“This fee only serves to hinder and discourage citizens from exercising their rights to participate in the upcoming election.”

“We are calling on PPC to reconsider this decision and refer the fee back to the original amount of 20,000 SSP.”

On Thursday, PPC boss, Eng. James Akol Zakayo said some parties were unable to meet registration requirements including the 50,000 US dollar registration fee.

The registration fee, according to Zakayo, was benchmarked from Ghana – one of Africa’s best democracies.

But he said some minority political parties are unable to raise the fee.

Zakayo argued that political party with 500 members, as required by law, should be able to raise the amount, with each member contributing at least 100 US dollars.

 

 

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