A Senior Lecturer of the University for Development Studies, Dr Godfred Seidu Jasaw has chastised Ms Jean Mensa and Dr Bossman Asare, Chairpersons of the Electoral Commission of Ghana for compromising their office as referees in Ghana's electoral system.
He made these known through a statement released on Saturday 25th May, 2019.
He indicated, that even though the Chairpersons of the commission were "appointed under strange circumstances", they are expected to prove their critics wrong by providing a transparent system that gives a level playing field for all stakeholders in our political system.
This he observed, is not being achieved since the public utterances and posture of the Commissioners of the EC has not been impressive.
Late Invitation of NDC to IPAC Meeting
Dr Godfred Jasaw described as unfortunate, shameful and regrettable, the decision to invite the biggest opposition party in the country, only few minutes to the start of an IPAC meeting.
He explained, that even though Ms Jean Mensa rendered an apology to the NDC on this matter, recent developments at the commission suggests that the Commissioners drew no lessons from the unfortunate incident.
NDC as a threat to Ghana's Democracy
The Senior Lecturer, further described as disastrous, comments from Dr Bossman Asare, Deputy Chairperson of the Electoral commission, suggesting that the NDC "is gradually becoming a cause to worry for the peace and stability in the country".
He advised Dr Bossman Asare to purge himself off such controversies.
"If he continue to act as though his core mandate is to put smiles on the faces of elements in government, he will not only lose any integrity he has but also plunge the country into chaos."
Limited Registration Exercise
Dr Godfred Jasaw kicked against the decision of the EC to move the limited registration exercise from the electoral areas to the district offices of the commission and described that decision as unwise.
He noted, that such a move will disenfranchise over 1 million eligible voters.
He therefore quizzed whether the Commissioners understand their core mandate and further stated, that the "EC has no excuse not to undertake this exercise at the electoral areas, giving the fact that parliament had approved its budget for the exercise".
Dr Jasaw also advised the Commissioners of the EC to stop taking entrenched position on this important issue, as it has the tendency of ruining the peace and stability the country enjoys.
He ended by calling on the various Civil society organizations, the clergy, chiefs and all other stakeholders to speak out against the actions of Ms Jean Mensa and Dr Bossman Asare, to provide a level playing field for all parties in the country so that the country will not be plunged into a state of anarchy and despair because of the "irresponsible/political" actions of some individuals.
Dr Godfred Seidu Jasaw Writes;
Dr Godfred Seidu Jasaw
Considering the strange circumstances under which the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and her deputies were appointed, many of us expected them to live above the occasion and prove their critics wrong by providing fair grounds for all stakeholders in our electoral system.
Unfortunately, their public utterances, posture and work so far have not been impressive.
The unfortunate decision to deliberately or otherwise, invite the biggest opposition party in the country, only few minutes to the start of an IPAC meeting was very shameful and regrettable.
Recent developments at the EC has proven, that the apology rendered to the NDC after that unfortunate incident, was not one that the Chairperson and her deputies drew any lessons from.
I was outraged, when I heard the Deputy Chairperson for the Commission describe the NDC as a threat to the country's democracy.
In fact, he indicated that "The actions of the NDC are gradually becoming a cause to worry for the peace and stability in the country".
Such disastrous comments from someone who is supposed to be a Referee, remains distasteful and I think Dr Bossman Asare must purge himself off such controversies, considering the bizarre circumstances under which he and his colleagues were appointed.
If he continue to act as though his core mandate is to put smiles on the faces of elements in government, he will not only lose any integrity he has but also plunge the country into chaos.
I agree with all those who are strongly against EC's decision to move the limited registration exercise from the electoral areas to the district offices.
I do not know how such an unwise decision will even help the ruling party. A decision to disenfranchise over 1 million eligible voters?
Does the commissioners of the EC, led by Ms Jean Mensa understand their core mandate?
The EC has no excuse not to undertake this exercise at the electoral areas, giving the fact parliament has approved its budget for the execerice.
It will not be in the interest of the country, for the Commissioners to take an entrenched position on this matter, as it has the tendency to ruin the peace we enjoy as a country.
This is the point where we expect the various civil society organizations, the clergy, chiefs and all other relevant stakeholders to speak out.
We must speak against these ills before the irresponsible/political actions of some individuals, plunge this nation into a state of anarchy and despair.
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