President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has initiated the process to find a replacement for the removed commissioners of the Electoral Commission and insisted, “we are not looking for persons who are coming to do a job for the NDC or for the NPP.”
“We are looking for persons who are coming to do a job for Ghana. That is what we are looking for, for the Electoral Commission,” President Akufo-Addo said when he addressed a townhall meeting on Saturday June 30, 2018 with Ghanaians resident in Nouakchott, Mauritania, ahead of the conduct of the 31st African Union (AU) Summit.
Based on the recommendations of the Committee set up by the Chief Justice to investigate complaints against the former Chairperson, Mrs Charlotte Osei, and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwaa, President Akufo-Addo removed them from office on Thursday June 28, 2018 for stated misbehavior, misconduct and incompetence.
Graphic Online has gathered that President Akufo-Addo now has to find four people immediately to fill the vacant positions since apart from the three removed, another commission member, Pauline Adobea Dadzawa also retired recently.
The commission is now left with only three commissioners - Ebenezer Aggrey Fynn, Rebecca Kabukie Adjalo and Hajia Sa-Adatu Maida.
This means that they cannot have the quorum to meet since even if they have to meet, it is either the chairperson or one of the two deputies [all removed] who have to chair the meeting.
Speaking publicly on the matter for the first time since the announcement on Thursday evening, President Akufo-Addo said: “we are not looking for persons who are coming to do a job for the NDC or for the NPP.”
President Akufo-Addo explained that he was duty bound to uphold the teachings of the Constitution.
Already, the President has been advised to look beyond politics in his appointment of the four commissioners of the Electoral Commission (EC).
Making the suggestion, Dr Eric Oduro Osae, a lawyer and governance expert called for a constitutional amendment to make it possible for the Public Services Commission to be involved in the selection of the Electoral Commission bosses going forward.
In his opinion, doing so will improve the credibility of the EC.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Newsfile programme on Satuday, Dr Osae noted that, “We are at a point where he [President Akufo-Addo] has to act fast, think fast and overhaul the system. This requires that they should open it up. I’ll always say that the appointment procedures should be competitive and they should open it up.”
“The previous instances where we have had presidents nominating people and having people vetted by parliament, we should move beyond that. If we can have a way of advertising, of making it competitive; though it’s not spelt out in the constitution and the Electoral Commission Act, it will help us,” he observed.
“I will also advise that though it’s an opportunity for the president to appoint all seven, I will advise that he should look beyond politics; he should look at competence and he should look at people who will be able to stand the test of time; people who will be able to prevent some of these infractions from happening,” he added.