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Politics of Monday, 11 May 2015

Source: GNA

CFI joins calls for openness in EC Chair appointment

The Civic Forum Initiative (CFI), has added its voice to calls to ensure that the process for appointing a new Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) is made more open and transparent.

It said given the highly-polarised political situation, the Council of State must act in the supreme interest of the nation.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Major General N.C Coleman (Retired) and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi, said whoever is appointed to head the electoral body would be faced with managing a transition and two important statutory and complex elections at the local and national levels by December 2016.

It said unlike the past when the EC had a two-year interval to organise presidential and parliamentary elections after the mid-term district level poll, this time it would have a shorter time to do so.

The statement said the fallout from the closeness of the district and national level elections would be an intensification of the politicisation and polarisation of the nation around election management issues.

It said added to these is the problem of funding when in good times governments had always found it difficult releasing monies for the EC’s programmes in a timely manner.

It was against this background that its new Chairman should be a person who “does not only have proven competence for the job but should also be seen as capable of dealing with institutional problems effectively”.

The statement said Government must make sure that the Commission is adequately financed to well discharge its constitutional functions.

Dr Kwadwo Afari-Djan, Chairman of the EC, would be retiring next month, after 23 years and replacing him, has generated a lot of public interest, speculation and discussion.

This is largely due to what the nation had experienced in recent months - the management of the 2012 elections and revelations that came out of the proceedings of the eight month- long petition in the Supreme Court and the inability of the EC to organise the 2014 District Level Elections.

These events have exposed certain weaknesses in the electoral management system and led to the erosion of public confidence in the institution.