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‘EC Bosses Must Step Down’   
 
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11-Oct-2017  
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Charlotte Osei
 
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Progressive People’s Party has called on the Electoral Commissioner, Mrs. Charlotte Osei, and her two deputies to resign en bloc to pave way for a fair trial in the recent legal battles that have ensued between her and the two deputies to avoid interference.

Addressing a press conference at Coconut Grove Hotel in Accra yesterday to mark exactly a year since the EC through its Chairman, Mrs. Charlotte Osei announced the ineligibility of then Presidential Candidate, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom for failing to meet the requirements of the EC, National Chairman of the party, Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond said the party is saddened to learn about the scandals that have emerged at the Electoral Commission over the award of contracts without tender, and the litany of allegations and counter allegations against the EC Chair and her deputies.

“We are happy the Chief Justice has written to Mrs. Osei and her two deputy commissioners (Ms. Georgina Opoku-Amankwa in-charge of Corporate Service) and (Mr. Amadu Sulley in-charge of Operations) to file official responses to the allegations of corruption and abuse of office. Why should the PPP be surprised at such (allegedly) unsavory goings-on under Mrs. Osei’s watch? As a major stakeholder in Ghana’s electoral system, we believe the Commissioners have tainted the image of the Electoral Commission so badly that, in the interest of mother Ghana, they must be advised to step aside,” the PPP chairman added.

According to him, the PPP is extremely worried that the inharmonious stay in office of these commissioners is gravely affecting operational activities at the Commission as district electoral officers are on tenterhooks waiting earnestly for resolution so that their allowances and other outstanding emoluments could be paid.

Touching on the occasion the PPP described October 10, 2016 as one of the “darkest days” in Ghana’s political history and called on Ghanaians to resist any attempt by the Electoral Commission (EC) to repeat the disastrous act that has the tendency to mar the nation’s democracy.

According to the PPP, the EC’s deliberate decision to disqualify on spurious grounds, 12 out of the total 17 aspirants who had submitted their nomination forms in good faith to be considered as presidential candidates for the 2016 Elections disturbed and derailed the party’s effort to wrestle power from the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) led by Former President John Dramani Mahama.

He explained that many of their party supporters lost respect in their constituencies as a result of the criminal attachment to the case. This he maintained led to emotional exhaustion, low levels of morale creating absenteeism, lack of motivation and interest in the election battle for the peoples’ hearts and minds. Party members were thoroughly demoralized as a result of the EC’s wrongful accusations. We cannot forget the amount of money that was spent on legal fees and then huge amounts that was lost in our support for some of our targeted constituencies”. He lamented

He explained that as a law abiding party, the PPP sought audience with the EC to give opportunity to resolve any misunderstandings that might have informed their decision to disqualify their Presidential candidate but were denied through the EC’s “orchestrated, diabolic and hideous scheme crafted to scuttle the efforts of the PPP and its flag bearer, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom”.

Dr.Brew-Hammond stated that but for the watchful and eagle eyes of the legal team led by Ayikoi Otoo to draw the attention of Justice Kyei-Baffour of the attempted subversion of justice, the EC and the Chairperson, Mrs. Charlotte Osei would have succeeded in their objective of reducing the 2016 elections into a two-horse race making it easier to allow other illegal measures to be activated to subvert the will of the people in favour of one political party.

“When our efforts to have this matter settled amicably failed, we proceeded to the High Court. During the process, we were introduced to another determined action on the part of the Chairperson when she lied under oath that the PPP’s flag bearer had already been given fair hearing. It was a huge defeat to abuse of office, the tyranny of Charlotte, a modern day Judas, and her well-rehearsed plan to rig the 2016 elections in favour of a particular political party,” he said.

“We know the EC is one of the most sensitive institutions in the country and we cannot, therefore, sit by unconcerned for these allegations to remain unresolved. They have the potential to disturb the peace. We believe the issues raised in the allegations are serious enough to merit a sense of urgency in its investigation,” Mr Hammond said.

On his part, Presidential Candidate of PPP in the 2016 elections, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, who described the incident on October 10, 2016 as “politics without principle” and advised framers of the country’s constitution to allow members of the Electoral Commission to be selected not just by the President in office alone but by Parliament and political parties in good standing per the EC’s standard.

He said the EC should be given technical assistance to develop and implement rules and procedures to ensure that political parties comply with conditions of their certification.

Dr. Nduom called for guidelines and processes that will ensure that only Ghanaians fund their political parties and campaigns and not the case where political parties in power use state resources to fund their campaigns.
 
 
Source: Today
 
 

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