President of the republic, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, has appointed the executive director of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Mrs. Jean Mensa, as the electoral commissioner of Ghana.
This was confirmed in a press release by the head of communications at the presidency, Eugene Arhin.
The coming on board of Mrs. Mensa comes in the wake of the controversial sacking of the former EC boss, Charlotte Osei under the grounds of ‘misbehavior and incompetence’.
Facts about the new EC chair
1. Mrs. Jean Mensa is deeply rooted in matters of political governance and democratic issues. She is also a lawyer by profession.
2. She was the executive director of the IEA which organizes the presidential debate ahead of each election.
3. Mrs. Jean Mensa developed so many policy alternatives including the Presidential Transition Act, the Revised 1992 Constitution of Ghana (draft); the Political Parties Funding Bill and the Revised Political Parties Bill.
4. The new EC boss is also a member of the government committee tasked with preparing the Affirmative Action Bill.
One thing remains certain that the appointment of Jean Mensa will be greeted with stiff opposition from the National Democratic Congress (NDC). The party, since the 2012 elections, has had bad blood with her as they accused her of doing the bidding of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Removal of Charlotte Osei
The sacking of Charlotte Osei and her two deputies from the electoral commission was contained in a statement from the presidency. This statement argued that the president’s decision to kick all three officials out was based on grounds of “misconduct and incompetence”.
To this end, there has been suits filed at the Supreme Court against the removal of Charlotte Osei. The suit came from a concerned citizen, Fafali Nyonator.
The firing of Charlotte Osei and her deputies traces back to a 27-point petition filed by some angry workers of the Electoral Commission (EC) who cited instances of the abuse of power, mismanagement of public funds and causing of financial loss to the state as probable reasons for their dismissal.
These angry workers from the EC claimed Madam Osei fiercely abused the powers of her office in the awarding of “fraudulent” contracts to some companies including the Superlock Technologies Limited (STL) and IT Firm, DreamOval which she paid $76,000 to.
Charlotte Osei’s response
Sacked Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei, has indicated that she is not bothered by her recent troubles, and has thanked God for not giving her away as “prey.“
In what looks like a coded Instagram post, the embattled EC boss referred to herself as ‘the truth’ passing through ‘fire’ in the wake of her removal. Using an African proverb, Charlotte Osei posted:
“The truth passes through fire and never burns”. So far, the removal of Charlotte Osei has sent shock waves to some political critics of government like the NDC which believes the action is an attempt by the government to sabotage future elections in their favour.
What’s next for new EC chairperson, Jean Mensa?
Following the loud suspicions and allegations of doing the bidding of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) which started way back in 2012 by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), it is clear for all to see that Mrs Jean Mensa has a lot of cleaning to do.
First will be to win the trust of many as a neutral and open-minded public official whose job it is to remain politically neutral on all fronts. Her appointment comes in the wake of the sacking of her predecessor, Charlotte Osei, which has sparked anger and fury in the quarters of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
What is left at the EC for Jean Mensah to manage is a divided commission which needs to be mended and brought back to the standing it deserves to be as one of the powerful organs in Ghana today.