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General News of Wednesday, 26 July 2017


Charlotte Osei, two feuding deputies should resign - IDEG, CFI stoke calls

The EC boss and her two deputies embroiled in the trade of accusations and counter-accusations should be made to step aside, two leading governance think-tanks have said.

The Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) and Civic Forum Initiative said the internal wrangling at the EC could create “institutional paralysis” if it is not dealt with expeditiously.

The two groups in a joint statement copied Wednesday, said there is the need for the three Commissioners who are breathing fire down one another's neck to step down to make way for a proper probe of the crisis.

“The EC requires a unified leadership and internal harmony to perform these functions effectively and professionally [but] the risk of failure is high with the current impasse,” the two groups said.

Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, Georgina Opoku Amankwaah and Amadu Sulley have traded allegations against one another in what has become a media trial.

In her response to a petition seeking her impeachment, the EC boss made some claims against her two deputies. The petition against her was filed by some disgruntled workers at the Commission over leadership.

Mrs Osei accused her two deputies of attempting to usurp her powers in the discharge of her work. She said the deputy in charge of Corporate Services, Mrs Opoku Amankwaah and deputy in charge of Operations Mr Sulley both have engaged in some questionable transactions without authorization.

"The Deputy Chair Operations collected above funds ¢6m in cash from political parties for the organisation of party primaries without recourse to the structures of the Commission, without the involvement of the finance department of the Commission," she said of Mr Sulley.

On Mrs Opoku Amankwaah, the EC boss said, "Under the supervision of the Deputy Chair CS, staff in the finance department have flouted many financial regulations, amended bank mandates, and made many unauthorised payments beyond their approval levels and without the knowledge of the Chairperson."

Her claims were later countered by Ms Opoku Amankwaah, who said the EC boss is to blame for the challenges at the Commission. Mr Sulley is yet to make public his counter-claims.

But wading in the matter, IDEG and CFI said the three Commissioners should all be set aside as the first cure to the brewing controversy at the electoral body.

“An interim Chair should be appointed to create a more conducive environment for the Commission to do its work normally,” they noted.

They implored the President to confer with the appropriate bodies to have the interim Chairperson appointed for investigations to begin in earnest.