Make appointment of Special Prosecutor open – CSOs

Make appointment of Special Prosecutor open – CSOs
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | AKAP
Date: 06-11-2017 Time: 01:11:28:pm
Ghana's Parliament

The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations has entreated government to make the selection of the Special Prosecutor open in order to cure issues of political witch-hunting.

The group noted the current selection process will deepen the suspicions of political opponents and compromise the independence of the Prosecutor.

Research Fellow at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Dr Kojo Asante said the purpose for detaching the prosecutorial powers from the Attorney-General will be defeated if the Coalition’s proposal is not considered.

He told Bernice Abu Baidoo on Joy FM’s Midday News Monday the position could be made open for interested Ghanaians to send in their applications.

He added a seven or nine-member committee could then be set up to vet the applicants and select three people for onward approval of one.

Dr Asante believes the Coalition’s recommendation will do a lot to bolster the confidence of political opponents in the yet-to-be-created anti-corruption office.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) bill is at the Second Reading stage in Parliament after it suffered a temporary setback.

The Minority in Parliament challenged the process used in laying the bill before the House.

After an extensive consultation with stakeholders and the public, the bill has two more hurdles to cross before it will become a law.

But the Coalition of CSOs said one of the areas it disagrees with the bill is the appointment of the Special Prosecutor.

The group wants Parliament to ensure the selection process outlined in the bill is reviewed to reflect the independence of the Office.

“Right now the bill is before the 275 MPs [and] they have the capacity to strengthen the bill,” Dr Asante said.

He said the Coalition will be reaching out to the leadership of the House to consider the proposal.

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