General News of Wednesday, 25 July 2018
Jean Mensa is a good choice to head the Electoral Commission (EC), the outgoing United States (US) Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Robert Porter Jackson, has stated.
He, however, said if the opposition had concerns about her fitness for the job, they could bring them up during her vetting.
“I know Jean Mensa. I respect her. I think that from what I know, she is a good choice to head the Electoral Commission. If the opposition, whether it is the NDC or other parties, have concerns about her fitness for the job, then they should bring those concerns up during the vetting process and let everyone have their say, and people could make a decision and the public could make its views known,” he said.
Mr Jackson was responding to how the US viewed recent developments at the EC which had necessitated the removal from office of Mrs Charlotte Osei and two other commissioners at the EC and the subsequent nomination of Mrs Jean Mensa and three others to fill the vacant positions at the country’s overseer of elections, as well as the misgivings on the nomination of the President.
The outgoing ambassador shared his views yesterday in his last media engagement with some selected journalists at the US Embassy in Accra.
Earlier this month, the outgoing ambassador, while commenting on the removal from office of the former EC Chairperson, described Mrs Osei as one of the most competent persons he had ever met despite her dismissal for “incompetence” and procurement breaches.
He, however, noted that it was important for the EC to get back to work because “for more than a year now, the commission has been largely paralysed by this impeachment process”.
Mr Jackson said the EC played a very important role in the country and it was vital that Ghana moved ahead with the process of creating new regions, electing municipal and local officials, as well as preparing for the 2020 parliamentary and presidential elections, among other duties of the EC.
He, therefore, asked that it must be ensured that everyone was satisfied with the people that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had proposed so that the EC could get back to work, to ensure that the commission was in the best possible position to be a neutral arbiter for the next election.
Tension in 2016
Addressing the likelihood of a repetition in 2020 of heightened tensions that occurred during the 2016 election, for which concerns were expressed by the US and other countries, Mr Jackson said the embassy was indeed very involved with the EC, the National Peace Council and civil society and contributed to their capacities that culminated in a successful election.
Mr Jackson expressed the belief that if everyone was allowed to have their say and contribute to the discourse, the best choice would be made for the country.