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General News of Wednesday, 10 November 2021


Mahama narrates how Charlotte Osei helped deliver Liberia’s 2017 presidential run-off

Charlotte Osei and John Dramani Mahama

• Charlotte Osei helped Liberia navigate a high-stakes election

• She led an ECOWAS team that supported Liberia's 2017 presidential run-off

• Former president Mahama was a Commonwealth Observer for that election

Former President John Dramani Mahama has narrated how former Electoral Commission boss, Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei, helped Liberia navigate a high-stakes presidential election run-off.

According to Mahama, Mrs. Osei had been appointed to head an ECOWAS Technical Committee to support Liberia’s elections body when Presidential polls headed into a run-off.

At the time Mahama was leading the Commonwealth Election Observer Mission in the country as Liberians voted to elect a successor to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – Africa’s first elected female president.

“I remember when I went to Liberia as an election monitor, after the first round, there was confusion because a lot of people did not know where to vote. ECOWAS sent a technical team led by Charlotte Osei to come and sort out the Liberian Electoral Commission’s problems and she came and sorted it out.

“The run-off that was held, everybody’s name was printed at your polling station so when you get there, you look and find your name before joining the queue.

“But in the past, it wasn’t there so people go to multiple polling stations and don’t find their names when some get tired they boycott the vote and they sorted it out,” he added.

Mahama was speaking on Accra-based Power FM / TV XYZ as part of his final ‘Thank You Tour’ in the Greater Accra Region.

Mahama has in recent times slammed the Jean Mensa-led Electoral Commission, accusing them of rigging the 2020 presidential poll in favour of incumbent Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Among other allegations, Mahama says there were a million illegal ballot papers printed on the blind side of the NDC and other parties and that active rigging took place in the Ashanti Region especially. He also blames the EC for not following agreed processes in the printing of key voter tabulation sheets.

Mahama appointed Charlotte Osei in 2015 as EC Chair, she oversaw the 2016 elections which Mahama lost to Akufo-Addo. In 2018, the latter removed her from office following recommendations from a panel led by the then Chief Justice. The panel was constituted after a petition alleged financial misconduct on the part of the then EC boss.