When Dr Afari Gyan retired as the EC Boss, the President at the time, Mahama was mandated by law to consult the council of state and appoint a New EC
When Dr Afari Gyan retired as the EC Boss, the President at the time, Mahama was mandated by law to consult the council of state and appoint a New EC Chair. We all know that the Council of State don’t do much in these situations, the politicians have their way, always. That said though, Mahama made his appointment at the time he was expected to.
It was difficult reading meaning into it, it was not possible to insinuate that Afari Gyan was pushed out, he retired.
In spite of this, the NPP at the time did everything to discredit Mrs Osei, she was even accused of sleeping with the President for that position. In spite of the acrimonious relationship between the EC and the NPP, they went ahead to organize our best and most transparent elections yet.
While in opposition, many NPP communicators said that the EC was going to be removed if power is secured.
Fast forward, power is won and a group petitioned the President, a faceless group of cause, making all sorts of allegations, some legitimate though. The President takes it personal, assigns the Chief Justice to look into it and in just a matter of months, the EC Chairpersons were out of office.
I must say the NDC took it well because if they matched half the aggression of the NPP during opposition, the task of the current ones would have been much tougher
I do not begrudge the NPP so much despite stepping over the line on many occasions, this has been our politics, as long as it was done by one party, regardless of how well it was done, the other won’t accept it.
However, due to the history of the NPP and Mrs Charlotte Osei, I expected our President to show leadership in his appointment of a new EC Chair.
Every right thinking Ghanaian believes that Article 70(2) is outdated, if not wrong from the very onset and should give way to a more nonpartisan approach in the appointment of the EC Chair. If it was wrong in the appointment of Mrs Osei because a potential candidate activated it, it was even worse in Nana’s era because in all honesty, the manner of Mrs Osei removal was going to make accepting the new chair a more hideous task.
In spite of the obvious challenge the new chair was going to face, our president decided to apply Article 70 hook line and sinker without proper consultation with other political parties.
If you didn’t like Mrs Osei and so didn’t hesitate to sack her, then it legitimate to think that you went for one who you really like and can count on.
This is why NDC cannot really build consensus with this EC.
When Mrs Osei was sacked, I felt morally, our president would realise the need not to put the current one in the same level of distrust the former suffered, this was only possible with consultation with other parties.
But you see, he saw an opportunity to have his hand on the EC and appointed Mrs Jane Mensah.
She might be one of the finest around, it is even possible that perhaps by consensus, they’d still have settled on her but when we do it together, we can’t complain so much.
Today, if the NDC won’t accept to make life easy of the EC Boss, I cannot blame them given the history.
Appointing a New EC Boss looked like it was number one on the agenda for this government, however, Nana could have gone about it in a smarter way instead of treating it as an opportunity to prove that he is the one with the power.
So can’t we have a president who will boldly accept that it is not good for governance and our development to be appointing the IGP, Chief Justice, Attorney General, CHRAJ Boss, Electoral Commission and institutions expected to work without the influence of politicians?
With the huge majority in the favor of the NPP in Parliament, I expected them to right such wrongs to fix some of the problems in the 1992 constitution.
So far, the NDC have been more decorous in their dealing with the EC Boss, they have not made a quarter of the allegations made against Mrs Osei
What they are battling against is how to accept an EC Chair who was the beneficiary of a “coup” and I do not blame them, I blame our president for abusing his powers in this appointment and without considering how different it was from the others.
This woman isn’t doing enough to build consensus too, she has to accept that it’s her duty to alley the fears of the NDC. This I don’t care attitude isn’t going to help anyone. Sometimes, the one with the power must compromise.
In fact, credit the NDC for treating this EC Chair in a more respectful way, they have a long way to match how the NPP treated Mrs Charlotte Osei