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General News of Sunday, 6 November 2016


Martin Amidu fires EC boss again

Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Martin A.B.K. Amidu, has descended heavily on the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei, describing her as ‘incompetent’ and ‘inexperienced.’

He has, therefore, called on Ghanaians to “watch her every step during this election.”

Mr. Amidu, popularly called Citizen Vigilante due to his exploits in the fight against corruption, also said the EC boss was appointed by the NDC government to fulfill what he called a ‘rigging agenda,’ and said Mrs. Osei “is becoming dangerous” for the country.

According to the crusader, the EC boss does not look like a person who is capable of supervising a peaceful, free and fair general election on December 7 – which is about a month away – due to her ‘intransigence’ and ‘arrogance.’

Currently, there are a flurry of civil suits against the EC over the disqualification of some presidential aspirants; and many have expressed the fear that it might disrupt the timetable for the election, but the EC has insisted that there is no cause for alarm.

“The election date of 7th December, 2016 is just about a month away and the Commissioner has the impudence to tell citizen voters that she is capable of conducting the election within two weeks, forgetting that her pride, intransigence and arrogance are already depriving the aspiring candidates of political parties and others who may eventually qualify to be on the ballot of their constitutional right to equal opportunity and time to canvass the electorate for their votes before the election,” Mr. Amidu said in a statement he issued on Tuesday.

“The Electoral Commissioner does not appear to understand that the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution on the representation of the people enjoins her to ensure that every political party and its aspiring presidential candidate or an individual aspirant has equal time and opportunity to canvass for the votes of the electorate,” he said.

Mr Amidu said the statement made by the EC Chair to the media to the effect that the commission was going to supervise a successful general election, notwithstanding the flurry of suits “demonstrates once more the incompetence, inexperience and utter lack of understanding of the letter and the spirit of the 1992 Constitution mandating the Commissioner to supervise the organization of a free, transparent and fair multiparty presidential election.”

He posited, “Printing ballot papers for the presidential election means nothing to the rights of a political party and its candidate or individual aspiring candidates and their supporters who might have been deprived of an equal, fair and transparent right to participate in the electioneering campaign ‘intended to influence the composition and policies of the Government’ to be elected.”

According to Mr. Amidu, “Every citizen has a fundamental guaranteed right to join a political party and to participate freely with that political party in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas and other programmes and to sponsor candidates to the office of the President of Ghana.”

He said such a guaranteed right “is rendered nugatory and pointless when candidates have only two weeks to canvass the electorate for support for the election on 7th December, 2016,” adding, “There can be no free, transparent and fair elections when any of the disqualified aspiring candidates and any political party sponsoring them have their names added to the ballot more than three weeks belatedly, because the Commissioner’s preferred and approved candidates would have had an unequal advantage over them in the contest for the presidency.”

Mr. Amidu indicated, “I have already said elsewhere that this Commissioner was appointed with a rigging agenda. Let us as citizens defend the Constitution by watching her every step during this election.”