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We have confidence in new EC chair - Political parties

Some political parties in Ghana have expressed confidence in the abilities of the newly elected chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC).They have however charged her to work within the remits of the constitution and must also undertake her duties without fear or favour.On Thursday night, the Chief of Staff in a press release announced President John Mahama’s appointment of Charlotte Osei to replace Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, who recently retired after serving as EC boss since 1993.Prior to her appointment, there were calls from various quarters on the President to appoint a person with no political leanings but one with integrity to serve in that position, considering the sensitive nature of the position.

According to the governing National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) Deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho, he does not know her, the important thing is that “she is a Ghanaian and she qualifies to hold that position and the President has appointed her.”On behalf of the NDC, Koku Anyidoho wished her well, adding that “Ghanaians are expecting her to take over from where Afari Gyan has left off and help us as far as our electoral processes are concerned.”“I’m sure the whole Ghana expects that she will work according to the dictates of the constitution and not allow herself to be pushed around by anybody or any political party.”The People’s National Convention (PNC) expressed confidence in Mrs Osei’s appointment, adding that her stint as boss of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) will come in handy.The General Secretary of the PNC, Bernard Mornah explained to Citi News that, “Madam Osei has been in charge of a similar but maybe, less sensitive position at the National Commission on Civic Education that is supposed to be responsible for political and civic education of our nation.”He was of the view that her work as NCCE boss enabled her to work in close collaboration with the EC and certainly “understands the ins and outs of what needs to be done and what is not to be done.”
The Convention People’s Party (CPP) was hopeful that the new EC chair will bring her experiences to bear in making the EC a more transparent institution.The General Secretary of the party, Ivor Greenstreet in an interview with Citi News said Mrs Osei “certainly has the professional experience and capacity in the other areas that she has demonstrated so we hope these qualities will enable her to succeed in taking charge of this institution.”
According to Greenstreet, it is a collective agreement that the EC needs some substantive administrative reforms to make it an institution which is “more attractive and transparent and one in which Ghanaians have more confidence in.”This, he said will make the nation’s elections “less about the kind of issues that we have seen in the past and more about the policies and the individual parties have that will benefit Ghanaians and allow them to choose which party offers the best way forward.”Meanwhile, the main opposition, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has said the appointment of the new EC chair is worrying considering the fact that the a writ has been filed at the Supreme Court requesting an interpretation of certain provisions of the 1992 Constitution in relation to the appointment of an EC chair.Deputy General Secretary, Nana Obiri Boahen told Citi News, “my source of worry is the fact that I am painfully aware that there is a matter pending before the Supreme Court in respect of the issue of consultation…so for me, the appointment may look quite prejudicial in the sense that with this appointment, it has preempted the outcome of that civil suit pending before the Supreme Court.”He however challenged Mrs Osei to live up to expectations as she has been given the nod.But Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Koku Anyidoho has stated that the writ filed before the Supreme Court cannot stop the President from appointing a new chair for the Electoral Commission.He argued that the constitution has been adhered to in the appointment of Charlotte Osei.“He has just followed the constitution and appointed another Electoral Commissioner. Besides, there are six other Commissioners…the work must go on. Richard Sky cannot keep this country in one place because of some writ he says he has sent to the Supreme Court.”He added that he is certain that in good time, the Supreme Court Justices “will look at whatever it is he has sent there and give their ruling but there is no law that says that because somebody has filed a case in court, the constitution must be set aside until that case is done with.”“We need to educate ourselves in this country so Richard Sky’s whatever that is at the Supreme Court does not and I repeat, does not stop the President from working especially within the remit of the constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”

source: ghanaweb.com

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