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CSO Coalition calls for open and competitive process in the appointment of Special Prosecutor

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The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) commends the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for finalising and submitting its report to the floor of Parliament on 17th October. We equally acknowledge that the Bill has been taken through the Second Reading Stage. The Coalition further takes note of the commencement of the Consideration Stage during last week and the vigorous debates that have ensued so far.

As Members of Parliament continue to debate and propose amendments to the Bill, the CSO Coalition calls on Parliament to consider seriously its proposal, as was contained in the memorandum submitted to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to make the appointment process for the Special Prosecutor and Deputy Special Prosecutor open and competitive. Specifically, the Coalition proposed the following:

a. Advertise the position for Ghanaians home and abroad to apply
b. Constitute an ad hoc interview panel/committee comprising individuals with the requisite knowledge and/or experience of the job requirements nominated by the following stakeholders to scrutinise and recommend at least three applicants for consideration by the Attorney General:
1) The Judiciary
2) Public Services Commission
3) Traditional authority
4) Religious Groups
5) Civil Society
6) Professional Bodies (Accountants and Auditors)
7) Private sector
c. The Attorney General shall select one candidate out of the three shortlisted and forward the name for vetting and approval by majority of members of Parliament present. d. The President then appoints the person
d. The President then appoints the person

We made the above proposals because we consider the current rendition of the appointment process in Clause 12 is insufficient to cure the challenges of political bias. We believe the current provision is likely to undermine public trust and confidence in the independence of the Office of the Special Prosecutor if not further amended.

Finally, we encourage both sides of the House (Minority and Majority) to continue the debate on the Bill in a bipartisan manner.

We pledge our unwavering support to the Committee and Parliament in the effort to pass a credible Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill, 2017.

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