Ghana’s EC treading on dangerous path
Two institutions that have recently scarred themselves but need to salvage their integrity in Ghana are the judiciary and the electoral commission. While the former has started some bold initiatives to reclaim its status and dignity, the latter seems to be intentionally digging its grave in the soil of public confidence.
Ever since Ms Charlotte Osei was appointed the Chair of the EC in June last year she has portrayed naivety, ignorance, arrogance, or a combination thereof. She missed her very first unofficial goal vis-a- vis, rebuilding of confidence in a hitherto distrustful agency left by its former boss. Thus far, she has thrown all caution to the wind and dances to her own rhythm, albeit in a slippery arena. Her steps – reggae, waltz, cha cha – could tumble her down and with the weight of the country crashing on her. Females, more than average, are known to be more methodical, patient, cautious, conscientious and are wont to listen to good counsel. But not this one. She has simply drifted off course.
From simultaneously holding two public offices, to the call for a new voter register or the modalities of consciously cleaning and validating the existing one, to the description of the NPP letter to her as “love letters,” the selection and setting up of a steering committee without the knowledge and input of IPAC, Ms. Osei has grossly miscalculated the power of her position. She has prevaricated at every turn. What would be the job description of the steering committee?
It looks as if the EC is swaying from strings being manipulated by a savvy, albeit self-centered person or persons since she does not seem to be knowledgeable and is obviously not in total control of her job. A former EC Director wonders aloud of her neutrality and alleges that Ms Charlotte Osei is chasing out experienced staff that are nearing their retirement age with elections barely eight months away. Is the steering committee replacing the chased officers?
All caution by religious, social and civic leaders have fallen on deaf ears. To the EC leadership, anyone who criticizes them must either be an NPP member or a sympathizer thereof.
We are afraid the November elections may not come off as planned. Groups, including adherents of ROPAA have either filed lawsuits or are in the process of doing so. If even all the lawsuits are dealt with before November, the public trust and confidence in the EC continues to erode, and given the fact that the NPP says it is no more interested in resorting to legal action, Ghana could be in very precarious situation, during and after the elections. While at it we have one question we asked in our January editorial: How is the EC going to expunge the over 141,000 non – existent foreign service personnel that Dr. Afari Gyan claimed to have captured but could account for less than 5,000.
We think Ms Osei would surpass Dr. Afari Gyan in stubbornness and erode the last dignity left at the commission she inherited if the current trend continues. She still has the chance to salvage the most sensitive democratic institution in Ghana by doing the right thing. And quickly too.