General News of Tue, 24 Jul 201898
Jean Mensah is a good choice - US Ambasador to Ghana
Robert Porter Jackson, US Ambassador to Ghana, has lauded the President’s choice of Electoral Commissioner describing Jean Mensah’s nomination as a good choice.
The US Ambassador stated that the new EC nominee commands a great deal of respect from him.
President Akufo-Addo on Monday forwarded the nomination of Jean Mensah, IEA Executive Director and three others to the Council of State for consideration as the new Electoral Commissioners of Ghana.
Main opposition party, NDC has criticised the decision of the President, accusing him of stuffing the Commission with pro-NPP sympathisers.
They also questioned the timing of the appointment as this has come in the wake of several petitions filed in Court over the removal of former EC Chair Charlotte Osei and her deputies.
Responding to a question during a roundtable conference with selected media personnel, Ambassador Robert Jackson admonished the NDC and other political parties who may have issues with nomination of the new Chairperson to bring them up during vetting.
“I was here during the 2016 election process, very involved, we did indeed work with our diplomatic colleagues and also with the Electoral Commission and the National Peace Council and Civil Society. We invested in the capacity of all three of those entities and of course Ghana had a very successful and peaceful elections. I know Jean Mensah, I respect her. From what I know I think she is a good choice to head the Electoral Commission. If the opposition, whether it is the NDC or other parties have concerns about her fitness for the job then they should bring those concerns up during the vetting process and let everyone have their say, people can make a decision and the public can make its own views known” he remarked.
Citing the referendum for the creation of new regions and elections of MMDCEs Robert Jackson made the point that there was the need for a Commissioner to fill the void created at the Commission.
He stressed the relevance of the nomination but emphasised the need for all parties and stakeholders to have their issues resolved with regards the president’s decision.
The US Ambassador urged, “It is important the EC gets back to work. For more than a year now the Commission has been paralysed by the impeachment process. It plays a very important role in the country. It is important that Ghana moves ahead with the creation of new regions if the voters wish to do that and with elected local and municipal officials as well as preparing for the 2020 parliamentary and presidential elections. Let’s ensure that everyone is satisfied with the people that the president has proposed. Let us get the commission back to work and move on so that the Commission is in the best possible position to be a neutral arbiter for the next elections”
The EC Chairmanship became vacant earlier this year after a judicial committee set up to investigate Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, found them guilty of procurement breeches and recommended their removal in accordance with Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution.