The Commission currently has no chairperson and even deputies following President Akufo-Addo’s dismissal of Charlotte Osei and her two deputies Amadu Sulley and Georgina Amankwah on Thursday, June 28 on grounds of “stated misbehavior and incompetence”.
The issue has raised eyebrows among sections in the political divide, though processes are far advanced to get new commissioners.
The General Secretary of NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, who spoke on 3FM’s Sunrise Tuesday, July 10, is of the view that the removal of the Charlotte Osei was in bad taste and that what matters by way of succession is for the democracy of the country to be safeguarded.
“Whatever the current government has done with the EC is wrong…we are not scared about whoever is going to be in charge of the Electoral Commission as long as it preserves our democracy and our democratic institution,” he said.
The NDC and other civil society groups have since been on the defense of the disimissed commissioners, especially Charlotte Osei, whose situation they describe as witch-hunting.
Protecting independence of the EC
Asiedu Nketia explained that being on the defense of the beleaguered former commissioners is not because of personal interests but for the overall protection of the 1992 constitution.
“The battle we are fighting is not a battle to protect the person of Charlotte Osei or Amadu Sulley or anybody, we are fighting to protect the integrity and independence of an election administration body which has been designed by the constitution to be independent.
“The constitution has been structured to secure the independence of the Electoral Commission to be able to discharge on their core mandate and their core mandate is to organize free and fair elections and have the courage to declare the results irrespective of who wins or who loses,” he explained.
NDC is worried
According to him, the NDC is worried that “we have constitutional democratic institutions that are supposed to be strengthened to perform their works but the government is doing everything to subject them to political dictates and that is wrong”.
He reiterates that the removal of Charlotte Osei was schemed.
“The president has a discretion in whatever that is going on [at] the Electoral Commission because the removal of the EC chairperson is a campaign promise made by the New Patriotic Party,” he observed.
He also noted that the provisions for the removal of an Electoral Commission member relates to breaches of the core mandate of the Commission.
“For instance, if it is noticed that they have compromised their decision-making in a way or has inflated votes for a particular party,” he cited.
‘Nobody is safe’
He raised an alarm of insecurity in the country, stressing “if the [Public] Procurement Act is the basis for an independent Electoral Commission officials to be removed, then nobody is safe in this country”.
While maintaining that it is not yet time to have a succession discussion, he noted that Professor Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey and Professor Gyimah Boadi are the people who the NPP was pushing for before Madam Charlotte Osei’s appointment as the EC chairperson.