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General News of Tuesday, 25 July 2017


NDC has no basis defending EC Chair in internal row – MP

MP for Bantama in the Ashanti Region, Daniel Aboagye, wants the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to stop jumping to the defence of the Chair of the Electoral Commission in the internal wrangling at the elections management body.

Mr Aboagye says the current disagreements at the EC aside, NDC’s proclivity to show open support to the EC Chair at the least instance amounts to politicisation of important national issues, urging the opposition party to stop the practice.

His comments Monday evening on current affairs programme PM Express on the Joy News channel (Multi TV) concern a contest of accusations of fraud, abuse of office and arrogance between the Chair of the Electoral Commission, Charllote Osei, and two of her deputies -- a row being played out in the media.

The existence of the tension at the EC surfaced when some faceless staff at the Commission petitioned the President through their counsel, Maxwell Opoku Agyemang, to remove the EC Chair over a myriad of allegations.

The petition is calling for a full-scale probe into various allegations against the EC Chairperson, including willfully causing financial loss to the state and abuse of office.

The faceless staff of the Commission claim for instance that Mrs Osei’s decision to cancel a contract awarded to Superlock Technologies Limited (STL), a company contracted to supply and manage Biometric Voter Registration machines (BVRs) and the Biometric Voter Devices (BVDs), as well as her directive for the payment of $76,000 to IT firm, Dream Oval, were fraudulent.

The EC Chair issued her a press statement to counter each of the 29 allegations against her through her own counsel, Thaddeus Sory – a move that has elicited further press statements from the two deputies believed to be behind the petition.

Meanwhile, the Minority NDC has threatened to fiercely fight the government if the demands of the petition that has reached President Nana Akufo-Addo is carried out.

The Minority MPs say they will mobilise and oppose any attempt to remove Charlotte Osei.

The NDC believes that allegations against the EC Chair is an orchestration by veiled government operatives to remove the EC Chair without justification.

However, speaking on PM Express, Mr Aboagye, a New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP, said although the NDC MPs are wont to support the EC Chair at the least provocation in the past, they will be doing the country a disservice if they keep their bias for the EC Chair in the current matter.

“We shouldn’t politicise [the issue]. Our friends in NDC have always, prior to the election, been the spokespeople for the EC, but not on this issue. “We are not contesting elections in this case. The issue came from within them [EC] and each side of the group is talking,” he said.

He told show host, Nana Ansah Kwao IV that the chaos at the EC is a national issue that needs to dealt with head-on.

An NDC MP on the show, Mohammed Abdul-Aziz, MP for Mion in the Northern, said the party's stance on the matter is calculated.

"We got our timing right, and we will not at any point in time withdraw statements that we belive to be true and fair," he defended his party.

Watch the full episode of the Monday's progamme in the video link below.