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General News of Thursday, 3 November 2016

Source: Graphic.com.gh

I've learnt to handle attacks with grace - Charlotte Osei

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei has disclosed that her husband has been very supportive in the myriad of tough decisions that she has had to take at the helm of affairs at the electoral management body.

Answering a question on how she felt about her role and how her husband feels in an interview with BBC Africa on Thursday, Mrs Osei said he has been very supportive even though he recognises that it was a tough job.

“I have a lot of support; my faith, my family, my friends and then I get a lot of support from random Ghanaians... He feels it’s a tough job and that it’s his absolute duty to just give me as much support as I need. He recognises that it is service to country and service to God. It’s not meant to be easy but someone has to do it,” she said.

Mrs Osei has come under a number of attacks following her appointment as chairperson of the Electoral Commission with the recent coming from former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Martin Amidu.

However she told the BBC that she was not surprised by the several attacks on her personality following some decisions she has taken.

According to her, her job requires that she takes difficult decisions and people who do not understand those decisions end up attacking her personality.

Asked by her interviewer, Akwasi Sarpong whether she regretted taking up the job, she said there were no regrets.

“It’s not an easy job but it was not meant to be an easy job. When you are a woman in a space that some people believe should be male, you should expect it,” she said.

“It’s also a job that requires that you take difficult decisions and people do not always understand the decisions that are taken and they also do not understand that you are chairing a commission so when you speak you are speaking on behalf of seven people and so it’s not your voice. So it’s very easy for them to misunderstand and to personalise the attacks,” she added.

Asked how she has managed to handle the scathing spasms, Mrs Osei said “I have learnt to handle it with grace.”

She noted it was a privilege to be the first female to chair the Commission and that by so doing; it was her responsibility to leave a legacy for young women who would find themselves in similar positions in the future.

“For me, personally, it is an honour in the sense that I recognise that I stand on the shoulders of women who have been first…I also have the duty to do a good job for the young women who are coming after me so that other women can also stand on my shoulders and contribute to serving the nation,” she said.