A private citizen, Dr Thomas Anabah, has petitioned the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana over its recently-inaugurated 21-member Eminent Advisory Committee, which he wants reconstituted.
The Committee, chaired by the former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and assisted by Mrs Gifty Affenyi Dadzie, a former President of the Ghana Journalists Association, has members such as Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, Archbishop Palmer-Buckle, Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Dr Rose Mensah Kutin, Dr Yaw Baah and Maulvi Mohammed Bin Sali.
The other members are Most Reverend Emmanuel Asante, Mr Affail Monney, Nana Ato Dadzie, Mr Sam Okudjeto, Mr Tony Forson, Mrs Freda Duplan, Nana Kobina Nketsia V and Rev Dr Cyril Fayose.
The rest are Rev Dr Opuni Frimpong, Rev Ekua Ofori Boateng, Rev Prof Emmanuel Martey, Rev Dr Paul Frimpong Manso, Rev Paul Kwabena Boafo and Sheikh Nuhu Sharabutu.
It was inaugurated on 3 December 2019 and is part of the EC’s new approach of enhancing engagement between the Commission and the Society as the nation prepares for the 2020 General Elections.
“Our reasoning, therefore, was that having a body of persons that can be trusted by the society to rise above partisan political sentiments to bridge communication between the Commission and the society would help to preserve peace and stability each time we have national elections,” the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa, said.
She added that the major rationale for the committee’s establishment was to demystify the Commission and prove its independence.
The committee, she stated, will serve as a window between the Commission and the public, stating that while the committee will serve to inform the public on the workings of the Commission, the committee members will also relay concerns from various members of the public to the Commission.
However, in a letter dated Tuesday, 10 December 2019, addressed to the EC Chair, Dr Anabah said: “The unity, cohesion and progress of our country can only be achieved if we, the citizens and public officials and institutions, abide by the tenets of the Constitution that we, ourselves, put together for ourselves and posterity.”
The petition continued: “That I, as a person not having anything negative against the idea of the Eminent Advisory Committee to assist the Electoral Commission in its work, the constitution of the membership of such a committee ought to be national in character, having representation of the diverse groups of people making up the Republic of Ghana. The membership of the committee, as currently constituted, is not representative of the diverse groups of Ghana because all the five regions of the north of Ghana are not represented at all and this is in sharp contrast to the guiding principles that ought to guide the Electoral Commission in its work as a public body working for the interest of the public.”
The statement emphasised: “Elections and related matters are an important subject matter in Ghana that everybody shows keen interest in and, so, for the entire north of Ghana to not be part of any deliberation concerning elections and related matters is a serious and dangerous precedent and should, therefore, not be glossed over. There are many eminent persons from the north of Ghana who are capable, willing and could have also served mother Ghana if an opportunity was given them.”
Dr Anabah is, therefore, petitioning the EC “to, as a matter of urgency, demonstrate goodwill and commitment to the rule of law, unity and cohesion of Ghana and its people and for public trust, confidence and support across the length and breadth of our Ghana, and reconstitute the said committee to ensure national representation as admonished by the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”
Send your news stories to and features to . Chat with us via WhatsApp on +233 55 2699 625.