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Haruna Iddrisu Backs New EC Boss

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Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader of Ghana’s Parliament and Member for Tamale South constituency has Okayed President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo’s appointment of Jean Adukwei Mensa as the new Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.

He indicated that the constitution vests the power of appointment of the Chairperson of the Commission in the President, and given the dilemma the President is in, he understands the move taken.

He said he understands that the President wants the Commission to conduct a referendum regarding the creation of the new regions before the end of the year, hence his desire to get the full complement of the Commission.

Speaking to the Media during an interaction between the Parliamentary Press Corp and the leadership of the House, he understands that people are legitimately interrogating the integrity of the person who would chair the Commission, yet to him, “what I want is a credible, free and fair election” he said.

He said people should demystify the perception about the possibility of influence of election results by an electoral Commission Chairperson.

He explained that what happens at the headquarters is just a reflection of what is transmitted from the various polling stations.

According to him, he is first “interested in what happens in my constituency, Tamale south”, then also the other remaining constituencies.

He added, “Therefore we should demystify what Electoral Commissioner and Deputy can do in an election”.

To him, what he expects from the Commissioner is the prompt deployment of logistics, related officials, credible ballot papers and its accoutrements and any other related thing needed to ensure free, fair and credible election.

To this end, he advised Members of Parliament to rather take keen interests in the electoral process and what happens at the polling station, instead of any other thing.

He asserted that, Ghana has one of the best electoral systems in the world, and that when he hears people complaining that they were cheated in an election, he asks the question “where were you then?”

About the President’s nominee for the EC Chairperson’s position, he indicated that he worked with the nominee as a Policy Analyst on the Dutch Program of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) on constitutional democracy, and also on electoral reforms in Zambia.

He also indicated that the party has a strong and relationship with the Electoral Commission.

He however indicated the President should ensure that due process is followed, and the issues raised by all stakeholders are well addressed to ensure that no person’s right is breached. He said this in relation to the Court challenge involving the dismissed former officers of the commission.

He also expressed his dissatisfaction of the President’s initial appointment of Samuel Boadu as the Acting Chairperson after the removal of Charlotte Osei.

He said that Article 43 and 44 together defines a seven (7) member Commission, and that any of the remaining deputies could have acted rather than choosing someone from the management of the commission.

By: Frederick E. Aggrey

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