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Mahama has no moral right to reject Jean Mensa’s EC nomination

Sun, 29 Jul 2018 Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

When I first came across the following news headline, “Mahama Rejects New EC Chair,” I could not help but express my utmost contempt for both the former President and the obviously unscrupulous editor or reporter who had come up with such irresponsibly sensational caption, which could only be aimed at either selling more newspapers or registering more web hits (See DailyGuideAfrica.com / Ghanaweb.com 7/25/18). First of all, Mahama could not reject an Electoral Commission’s Chairperson that he had absolutely no constitutional right to appoint.

That judgment call, of course, belonged to his legitimately and massively elected successor, to wit, President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. But what made the former President’s vehement protestation of the nomination of the Executive-Secretary of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) even more irritating was the fact that when then-President John Dramani Mahama was presented with the prime and golden opportunity to appoint a new Electoral Commission’s Chair, the former Atta-Mills’ lieutenant literally threw caution to the wind and ended up appointing the most scandalously incompetent candidate ever to have run the EC since independence.

To be frank with you, Dear Reader, I don’t even know why the Commonwealth Organization of former British colonies continues to dispatch the former Ghanaian leader on election-observer missions, knowing fully well that wherever Mr. Mahama has traveled to observe any election on the African continent, he has at best conducted himself with utmost embarrassment for the country whose Interim-President he became, following the “mysterious” demise of his former boss, the then-President John Evans Atta-Mills.

In Kenya, last year, for example, if yours truly has his mnemonic cap correctly fitted on, Mr. Mahama smugly reported that the election that saw the brutal coverup assassination of the EC’s Technical Director, I believe, in the leadup of the same, and which also saw his bosom friend, President Uhuru Kenyatta, retain power, had been among the cleanest and fairest of its kind in postcolonial Africa.

He would be shortly contradicted by the Kenyan Supreme Court that, in fact, the entire electoral process had been heavily rigged in favor of the incumbent. In Sierra Leone, Mr. Mahama would be dogged by widespread allegations of interference and would be reportedly run out of the country.

It may very well turn out to be the same situation in Zimbabwe, whose elections he was reportedly observing when he made his “regrettable” remark about the nomination of perhaps the best qualified candidate to be offered the job of Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) in the 26 years of Ghana’s Fourth-Republican democracy.

Indeed, even as the reporter of the news report under discussion poignantly noted, the logic upon which the former President based his rejection of the nomination of Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa was scandalously illogical; and it was that Mrs. Mensa ought not to have been appointed the EC’s Chairperson while the legitimate removal of her predecessor, Mrs. Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei, was being hotly disputed in court.

Well, the reporter of the news item being presently discussed had to remind Mr. Mahama that he had not put his Interim-Presidency or substantive Presidency on hold in the wake of the decision by his main political opponent in the 2012 Presidential Election to petition the Supreme Court of Ghana for a review of the accuracy and integrity of the results of the same.

But even more significantly, Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, the career General-Secretary of Mr. Mahama’s own party, that is, the National Democratic Congress, had publicly gone on record as categorically stating that, in fact, the then-Interim President John Dramani Mahama had not, after all, won the 2012 Presidential Election but rather, the results of the most fiercely contested election had been deliberately decided in favor of the incumbent by the then-Chief Returning Officer, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, because polling officials and agents recruited by Candidate Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had literally slept at the wheel.

Those opposition politicians and leaders of civil society organizations who have faulted Nana Akufo-Addo for not having broadly and extensively consulted with them, prior to the President’s settling on the nomination of the Executive-Secretary of the Institute of Economic Affairs, obviously need to read or reread the constitutional provisions upon which President Akufo-Addo made his decision.

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.