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General News of Wednesday, 25 August 2021


Removing EC Chair after change of government bad – Seidu Alidu

The Electoral Commission of Ghana The Electoral Commission of Ghana

A senior lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Dr. Seidu Alidu says the practice of changing the Chair of the Electoral Commissioner whenever there is a change in government is unhealthy for Ghana’s democracy.

Dr. Alidu who adds to the increasing voices of people calling for a review of entrenched provisions of the constitution says best practices indicate that some countries subject the EC appointment to voting or parliamentary approval.

His comment follows calls by the opposition National Democratic Congress, (NDC) that the appointment of the EC Chair should be subjected to prior parliamentary approval.

This proposal was part of a litany of proposals the NDC made to the Election Management Body. The party said the current mode of appointment makes the EC appear partisan.

According to Dr. Alidu, although there is the tendency for individuals appointed by the president to shift loyalty to the appointing authority, deepening the mistrust by the other political parties but at the same time some appointed individuals have proven to be a tough nut to crack.

Citing examples to buttress why the changing of the EC Chair amid a change in government may not be necessary, Dr. Alidu said “I think we are all rational human beings so it stands to reason that and is not saying the heads of EMB are not intelligent or can’t reason.

We know people who were appointed by the government and they defied the government like Martin Amidu but there is also the tendency that you may have people who don’t have the strong will to wear the shoes of Martin Amidu so human beings come in different packages.”

He told the host of the Sunrise morning show, Alfred Ocansey on 3FM 92.7 on Wednesday.

In his view, there must be a third way to guarantee the independence and neutrality of these officeholders so that the president is not directly involved in the appointment of the EC chair.

He is also said the opposition parties make brilliant recommendations once in opposition but when they are in power they sing a different chorus.

“Once he is in opposition he sees that most of the provisions do not inure to his benefit and he calls for reforms once he gets to power he keeps quiet over it and the one who was in power and kept quiet over it he starts to make quiet in opposition.

He said the development points to the fact that the political parties have their own personal interest and not the citizens.