A stalwart of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Dr. Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe has described as unfortunate calls for President John Dramani Mahama to have a broader consultation with political parties in selecting the next Chairman of the Electoral Commission.
EC Chairman Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, who has held his position since the return to constitutional rule in 1992, is due for statutory retirement in June this year. The choice of his successor has engendered public debate with many calling on the president to make a prudent choice.
The Constitution states: “The President shall, acting on the advice of the Council of State, appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairmen, and other members of the Electoral Commission.”
But some political party reps particularly from the opposition NPP, have urged the President to consult with the various parties in choosing a new chairman. Some civil society organizations have also joined the advocacy believing this will serve the country’s larger interest although that is not grounded in the constitution.
But speaking to TV3’s Bright Nana Amfoh, host of [email protected] pm, the NPP’s Dr. Nyaha Nyaho Tamakloe disagreed with his party’s position saying the calls for consultation is unwarranted since it is unconstitutional.
“This nation is governed by a constitution and this is not the first time that we have had an EC Chairman and I believe strongly that we should go strictly by what the Constitution says. This whole issue about broad consultation is unconstitutional and we should not even think about it at all. I don’t believe at all in that. The constitution says that the President will act on the advice of the Council of State. We have a Council of State in place and they are made up of very prominent people and if UI can say we have all ten regional representation there.
“So what is the problem. This is unnecessary problem that we want to saddle this country with once again and I don’t think that should be allowed.
Dr. Tamakloe insisted that arguments that the President appointed most of the members of the Council of State and so they could do his bidding does not hold water.
“President Kufuor appointed almost all the present members we have on the Electoral Commission at the moment and I think that was done orderly. Now, what has become so new that we should worry ourselves about this now. The Constitution states clearly that the President will only act on the advice of the Council of State. I think we have to be careful not to drag this country into unnecessary problems” he emphasized.
Meanwhile a Former Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Political Science Lecturer, Reverend Professor Mike Aaron Ocquaye, says the President cannot take a sole decision in appointing a new EC Chairman.
The former Dome-Kwabenya Member of Parliament told TV3 the phrase ‘…on the advice of…’ has led to many cases ending up in the country’s law courts and the EC’s may take a similar course if the president does not “act by law on what advice that body gives.”
“You can’t have your own view and there are cases in the courts of Ghana [including] the Supreme Court on this clearly what ‘on advice of…’ means vis-à-vis ‘in consultation with’. So that is granted and established.”
The former Political Science lecturer, therefore, said much responsibility rests in the bosom of the Council of State.
By:Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie/3news.com/Ghana