Search for New EC Chair: Mrs Kesson-Smith Osei Still Leads

As several names continue popping up in the media as possible successors of the Chairman of Electoral Commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, The al-hAJJ can confirm that the Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Mrs Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei still leads the pack in annexing the coveted post.

Although the Council of State is reported to have shortlisted three respected candidates for the EC job, intelligence reaching this paper indicates that Mrs Osei enjoys the support and endorsement of majority of the membership of the Council.

The NCCE boss’ appointment as the first woman to Chair Ghana’s EC will close the chapter on the ongoing speculations and wrangling over who takes over from the veteran electoral commissioner, Dr Kwadwo Afari.

Dr Afari Gyan, who has been on his terminal leave since December 2014, is billed to officially retire in June, having reached the compulsory 70 years as stipulated in the 1992 constitution.

His impending official retirement has sparked a wave of discussions and speculations on who succeeds him and how that person is selected.
Although Ghana’s 1992 constitution, article 70, is explicit on what should be done in the appointment of a chairman and/or deputies of the EC, opposition parties and some civil society groups have been whining over how the President intends to carry out his constitutional mandate.

According to the NPP and some civil society groups there must be ‘broader consultation’ involving all key stakeholders in the appointment of the next Chairman of the commission.

The appointment of Chairman of EC is regulated by article 70(2) of the 1992 constitution, which states, “The President shall, acting on the advice of the Council of State, appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairmen and other members of the Electoral Commission.”

So far, several names have come up as possible replacers of Dr Afari Gyan, however, key amongst the names include Chairperson of NCCE, Mrs Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei; Executive Director of the Center for Democratic Governance, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey and a deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of operations, Alhaji Amadu Sule.

Even though other names like Justice Senyo Dzamefe and Justice Alhaji Saeed Kwaku Gyan, both Justices of the Court of Appeal and another deputy chairperson of the EC, Mrs Georgina OpokuAmankwaah, The aL-hAJJis reliable informed that MrsOsei, DrAkwetey and AlhajiAmadu are tops on the list.

Deep throat sources at the seat of government disclosed to this paper that unknown to many Ghanaians who are calling on the president to do wider consultations before appointing AfariGyan’s successor, President Mahama, after almost three months of meticulous search, consultations and considerations, has finally settled on the three distinguished Ghanaians.

However, The aL-hAJJ can confirm that favorite amongst the three names to be considered for the job is Mrs Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei followed by Dr Emmanuel Akwetey and AlhajiAmaduSule in that order.

Indeed, this paper’s sources at the Council of State indicate that the council was likely to settle on Mrs Charlotte Kesson-Smith Oseito, among other reasons, to satisfy the generality of Ghanaians and also due to her qualifications, competence and experience and, above all, gender.