Ghana: Storm at Electoral Commission, late President Mills’ anniversary reported in Ghana

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – The explosive disagreements among the top management personnel of the Electoral Commission (EC) and the fifth anniversary of the passing of President John Evans Atta Mills were some of the stories reported in the Ghanaian media this week.

The disagreements among the leadership bubbled over last week when a group of people calling itself “Concerned Workers” sent a petition to President Nana Akufo-Addo asking for the impeachment of the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Charlotte Osei.

The group, who did not identify themselves, also sent the same petition to the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO), which asked Mrs Osei to respond.

Her response has thrown up what has been described as “rot” at the EC and led to an emotional public discussion on the future of the top management staff.

The disagreements, seen by some as power struggle, is mainly between Mrs Osei and her two deputies, Mrs Georgina Opoku-Amankwah (Corporate Services) and Mr Amadu Sulley (Operations).

Mrs Osei denied the allegations of misconduct made against her and then went further to accuse the two deputies of various actions of misconduct.

As required by law, President Akufo-Addo has forwarded the petition to Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo to establish whether a prima facie case has been established against Mrs Osei.

“Probe EC - CSOs, political parties demand,” was the headline of one of several stories on the matter published by the state-owned Graphic newspaper.

The newspaper said as the leadership crisis in the EC gets murkier, some political parties, civil society organisations and lawyers have called for full-scale investigations into the developments to restore the dented image of the commission.

The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), the small opposition Progressive People’s Party (PPP), as well as policy think-tank, IMANI Ghana, believe that only a probe will bring back the credibility of the EC.

The newspaper quoted a top member of the NPP, Mr Peter Mac-Manu, as saying developments at the EC demanded a full-scale, non-partisan probe.

“It shows the EC has performed below the belt,” Mr Mac-Manu, who was the campaign manager for Nana Akufo-Addo, in the 2016 election.

A Deputy General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr George Lawson, said the country’s democracy was under threat from the happenings at the EC, adding that it was worrying that the commissioners were at one another’s throat.

Although he described the development as very worrying, he said the question of full-scale investigations needed to be viewed with caution.

Accra-based radio station, Joy FM, reported on its website that the Deputy Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) had called for a bipartisan parliamentary probe into the feud. Franklin Oduro believes this may be a quick fix to the current impasse at the Commission.

“I miss Atta Mills – Mahama,” was the headline of a story on the website of Accra-based radio station, Starr FM, on the fifth anniversary of President Mills’ death as a wreath laying ceremony was held at the Park in Accra where he was buried.

Former president John Dramani Mahama said: “I miss him very much,” describing the late President as a man of “great moral courage and strength”. According to Mahama, he admired the late Mills, who was touted as an epitome of peace, because of his “inclusiveness, humility and a person who was a father for all.”

“Unfortunately, Ghana continues to be torn apart by partisan differences and that was what Prof. Mills tried to scale. We must remember his characteristics and so try to live up to those values. As we celebrate the 5th anniversary let’s remember what he stood for.”

Prof. Mills contested and lost the 2000 and 2004 elections, but beat Nana Akufo-Addo in the December 2008 polls. With just six months to end his first term he died on 24 July, 2012. Then vice president Mahama became the candidate of the NDC and went on to win the 2012 vote.
-0- PANA MA/VAO 29July2017

29 july 2017 06:45:27

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