EC to conduct background check on Election Steering Committee members

The Electoral Commission says it will in future conduct a thorough background checks on persons before being selected to serve on the newly created National Election Steering Committee that has in the last weeks triggered controversy.

The decision comes on the back of criticisms over the composition of the 18-member committee whose credibility has been questioned based on claims that two members of the National Democratic Congress have been selected as members.

According to the Commission, it did not investigate the political background of the current members, noting that task was the sole responsibility of the institutions from which the members of the committee originated from.

Speaking on Onua FM’s ‘Ghana Dadwen’ current affairs show, Director of Public Affairs of the Commission, Christian Owusu Parry, said considering the public discourse on the composition of the current committee, the Commission will consider conducting its own background in the next committee that it will put in place.

He said:“it might become necessary for the EC to undertake its own background investigations on people selected to be on the steering committee in future”.

Admitting that the EC did not carry out any investigation on the political background of the current 18 member Committee, he explained that the institutions were to select people who were not affiliated to any political party.

Meanwhile, he said the Commission would hold a meeting to assess all the allegations leveled against some members of the current members on the Committee for the necessary steps to be taken.

Mr Owusu Parry noted that the presence of the Ghana Police Service on the committee demonstrated that issues with security on elections would be well handled, adding, “the role of the members is purely collaboration and coordination, they will not handle election because that is the mandate of the EC”.

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Throwing more light on the establishment of the Committee, he stated that the Electoral Commission ACT, 1993 (ACT 451) gives the Commission the mandate to set up committees to enable them discharge their functions.

He, therefore, condemned the assumption that the setting up of the Committee is unconstitutional.

By Lydia Ezit|