Charlotte Osei promises to increase confidence in EC

Newly sworn-in Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) Charlotte Ama Osei has promised to work with her colleagues – particularly other members of the Commission – in order to make the institution a “stronger, more independent, objective and impartial commission”.

Ms Osei said the messages that have flooded in since her appointment is evidence of what is expected of her as successor to Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan.

“As chair of the Electoral Commission, I act with conviction and conscience, understanding that it is service to God and country above all else,” she said. “This I will do.”

Ms Osei was speaking at the Flagstaff House where she was on Tuesday, June 30 sworn in as the National Chairperson of the EC.

President John Dramani Mahama administered the oath of office.

He called the new Electoral Commissioner’s attention to the role she will occupy.

“Let me remind you with all humility that you are stepping into some very big shoes,” President Mahama insinuated at Dr Afari Gyan, who retires this month.

“Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan has proven over the last two decades that he is a colossus when it comes to elections and electoral systems and has despite the various grievances we as politicians might have expressed against him, either in government or opposition, distinguished himself creditably and contributed immensely to the stability of our democracy.”

Ms Osei, who until her appointment was the Commissioner for the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), becomes the first female head of the Electoral Commission.

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“For the young girls and women of Ghana, I know that I carry their dreams and aspirations and I appreciate that I am standing on the shoulders of women who have gone ahead and opened the doors for me and others to walk through today.”

She expressed support for the internal reforms at the Commission, adding that collaboration among staff will be embraced in order to keep work at the country’s election-organising body going.

“We will work hard to continue the process of internal reforms and ensure a more effective and collaborative service delivery platform and thereby increase the confidence of all our stakeholders in the institution and Ghana’s democracy.”

Ms Osei’s first task will be superintending the Talensi by-election on July 7 before her major task of the September 1 district level elections.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana

Twitter: @kwame_amoh