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General News of Friday, 25 October 2013

Source: TV3 News

Electoral Reforms: NPP demands answers from Council of State

National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey has written to remind the Chairman of the Council of State over an earlier letter calling for redefinition of the Electoral Commission’s role in elections in Ghana.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey wrote on Thursday, October 24, 2013 to remind the Council of State Chairman he is yet to receive response to his letter.

Find below the NPP Chairman’s letter written on September 13, 2013:

THE CHAIRMAN

COUNCIL OF STATE

ACCRA

Rt. Hon. Chairman,

Re: THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION AS A NEUTRAL REFEREE

A bad referee spoils a good match and in a high stakes political contest can cause bloodshed. The majority of the Judges in the recent Presidential Election Petition at the Supreme Court found in one area or another, misrepresentations, omissions and malpractices. We thank God for the good sense of the Ghanaian that our country did not follow the example of other countries and seek to rectify grievances through violence.

The 1992 constitution gives to His Excellency the President, acting on the advice of the Council of State, the power to appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairmen and members of the Electoral Commission.

In the past these powers have been exercised without any consultation with the political parties.

Given that the Council of State is unfortunately perceived by members of the opposition and many other citizens, as being an adjunct of the executive, Ghana would be helped if the Council were to formalize and institutionalize a process to act upon the advice of amongst others, IPAC when advising H.E. the President on who should serve on the E.C.

This decision and action would not need an amendment to the constitution and would be very much in line with the spirit of article 144(3) on the appointment of Appeal and High Court Judges on the advice of the Judicial Council, who are those most knowledgeable about their colleagues, as the political parties may be presumed to be knowledgeable on political players.

This matter is urgent in view of the expected retirement in the near future of the Chairman of the E.C.

We therefore urge you and the Council to please give this matter your most careful consideration and bring the issue into the realm of light, transparency and shared ownership.

With all assurances etc etc.

I am, yours faithfully,

Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey

NATIONAL CHAIRMAN

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