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General News of Wednesday, 26 July 2017


Rise above the petty squabbles - MP tells EC

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC), Mrs. Charlotte Osei and her deputies must learn to rise above petty squabbles because this may pose serious consequences for Ghana’s democracy, Member of Parliament’s Constitution and Legal Affairs Committee, has said.

According to Mr. Abban Alexander Kodwo Kom, the job of electoral commissioners requires "equanimity of mind and sanctity of heart", hence, the EC is jeopardising public trust and confidence with the current increasing ruckus resulting from counter accusations between the Chairperson and the some staff.

The Gomoa West Constituency law maker, talking to JoyNews, described the infighting as very worrying because if staff and executives of the EC are unable to trust each other, then it would be difficult for outsiders to accord the commission the respect it deserves.

He said, if Mrs. Charlotte Osei and her two deputies who are seen as esteemed persons could be at each other’s neck without considering what the public will think about them, then the integrity of the commission is at risk.

He quizzed, “We all put our trust in you that you’re going to be independent and impartial and you’re going to declare the will of the people the way it is. So if you’re now accusing each other of having fraudulently enriched themselves what is the guarantee that if a political party gives you some big money and you have some financial allurement from them you’ll not divert the cause of justice and pervert the will of the people?”

There is a steaming tension at the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) after some employees of commission petitioned President Nana Akufo-Addo to sack Chairperson of the Commission, Madam Charlotte Osei for alleged indulging in fraudulent activities.

The aggrieved officials also claimed that Mrs Osei breached the procurement process by single-handedly awarding a GHC3.9 million contract for the demarcation and partitioning of an office complex without engaging the Commission.

They also accused her of abuse of office.

But Mrs. Osei has rubbished the claims and has also accused Deputy Commissioner in-charge of Operations at the EC, Amadu Sulley, of extorting some GHC6 million from political parties without informing the Commission’s Finance Department.

These rebuttal accusations have attracted public concern with individuals and some groups calling for dismissal of the parties involved.

However, Mr Kodwo Kom said, sacking the current officials and bringing on board new hands comes with challenges as well.

He explained, “If we still have the mutual suspicion and mistrust of the system, if you bring the new personality he may have to do a lot to win the confidence back.”