Mahama Weeps Over Charlotte Osei Sack
Former President, John Dramani Mahama has joined critics in condemning the sacking of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei and the appointment of new heads.
He stated that the appointment of the new heads would erode the country’s democratic credentials.
The former president in a tweet yesterday, said the “Current controversy surrounding removal of EC Chair and deputies and subsequent appointment of new commissioners is regrettable and carries a potential to erode Ghana’s democratic credentials.”
His comment follows the recent appointment made by the President at the Electoral Commission.
Jean Heads EC
President Akufo-Addo appointed Jean Mensah, the Head of Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), on Monday, to spearhead the activities at the Commission.
Her appointment follows the removal of Mrs Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Mrs Georgina Opoku Amankwaa.
This has caused mixed reactions from political parties.
Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has disclosed that the IEA boss has an unsettled dispute with the party.
According to him, her appointment is a plot by government to rig the upcoming elections.
Speaking on an Accra based FM station yesterday, he said “Two years ago we accused her (Jean Mensah) and IEA of being partisan which led to the party boycotting the Presidential debate. We noticed she was on the side of the NPP due to her reactions. The President is aware of the dispute, yet he proceeded in appointing her as the new EC boss.”
According to him, her appointment defies all senses of decency, fairness and amounts to a gross abuse of the discretionary powers of appointment vested in the President by the Constitution.
However, John Boadu, the General Secretary of the NPP has applauded the move by government.
According to him, the appointment of Jean Mensah and her deputies would help redeem the image of the EC.
He also rubbished claims made by Asiedu Nketia that the appointed EC boss is an NPP sympathizer.
“The NDC has always opposed actions taken by government over issues concerning the EC. Should we also say Charlotte Osei was an NDC because they appointed her?” he quizzed.
Franklin Cudjoe, President of policy think-tank IMANI Africa is amazed the NDC is against the nomination.
As someone who has worked with Mrs Mensa at the IEA, he believes she is of great repute and is convinced that she will deliver to the best of her abilities at her new role if approved.
He said her role in handling the Ghana Political Party’s Programme and her extensive knowledge in presidential debates and electoral processes in the country, make her a perfect fit.
“She understands exactly what should happen at the EC,” he said, adding that it is “surprising and perplexing that one other party thinks she is not credible.
“Fact of the matter is that in this job, depending on how you respond to certain people, you’ll come across as being biased or not neutral,” he said.
Mr Cudjoe noted that Mrs Mensa could have said or acted in a way that seemed as though she was against a particular party during her work at the IEA but using that against her will be unfair.
“In the public discourse, there may be some commentary you may make probably in desperation because you are probably angry, but that cannot be misconstrued as being root and stem against a particular political party.
“That is tall order…to as an institution be against a whole party? I don’t think any institution will do that…but it can be intimidating and worrying when certain political actors behave the way they behave,” he added.
Describing her as “strict disciplinarian but focused,” the IMANI President said Mrs Mensa’s understanding of the politics of elections in the country has earned her an enviable position to understand what happens at the EC.
He concedes that she may have to consult her predecessors if she wants to make any substantial transformation at the Commission but said her “competency is in no doubt.”
By: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum