A Fellow at the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Dr John Osae-Kwapong says the perception around President Akufo-Addo’s recent appointments to the Electoral Commission (EC) is unhealthy for the state institution.
A recent Afrobarometer survey revealed that only 10% of Ghanaians trust the EC.
As a result, the fellow insists that appointing people who appear to be politically affiliated with the ruling party may exacerbate the trust deficit.
“It is also not good for the EC at this moment because they are in a situation where trust in the Electoral Commission is at a historic low based on the most recent Afrobarometer survey. Like only 10% say they trust the EC a lot,” he said on Thursday.
Dr Osae-Kwapong was speaking on JoyNews’ AM Show.
“I think that sometimes, appointing authorities should pay attention to some of these things so you don’t further exacerbate some of these trust issues that a given institution is already facing.”
Given that he does not see the appointment being reversed by the president and that the appointees themselves might not tend in their resignation letters, the expert says one can only hope that the appointees would rise above partisanship in their delivery. He added that given the current circumstance, other political parties and key groups would have to be “extra vigilant” as elections draw near.
He says he is not sure if the two people should resign in that they only need to assure Ghanaians of their impartiality as political parties prepare for the general elections.
His comments follow calls from the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) demanding the immediate resignation of two of three new appointees by the president to the EC. Dr. Peter Appiahene and Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani are said to be affiliates of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
CODEO at a news conference on Wednesday said these appointments have the tendency to make the EC look partisan and affect its credibility in future elections.
“We are painfully aware that voluntary and constitutionally grounded revocation of this unfortunate and democratically problematic EC appointment by the President is extremely unlikely.
“However nothing stops the affected appointees namely Dr. Peter Appiahene and Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani from voluntarily and honourably resigning from membership of the EC,” said the body in an address.
Meanwhile, the opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has also accused the ruling NPP of ‘annexing’ the EC for political gains.
The National Communications Director, Sammy Gyamfi, therefore, stated during an interview with Joy FM’s Top Story on Tuesday, March 21, that “we want to join forces with civil societies and other well-meaning Ghanaians to push for the necessary reforms in the composition of our once revered body.”
But, reacting to the concerns raised, the National Organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Henry Nana Boakye is indifferent on the position of the NDC in that the President’s appointment are not illegal or unconstitutional.
“I have not seen anybody raise issues on illegality, unconstitutionality,” he said.
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