Democracy thrives when elections are free, fair and transparent. However, it appears to a cynical common man that we have been scripting a narrative that places maximum premium on winning at all cost -to the total exclusion of ethical considerations.
The legal technicalities being applied by government and its allies to justify the removal of the EC boss is a mere smokescreen to give some form of credibility to their diabolic agenda designed by the administration in tandem with its allies.
The President and his party per their actions so far, have demonstrated their unwillingness to abide by laws and regulations guiding elections in the 2020 elections.
The electoral commission is mandated by the constitution of the republic to perform specific functions including
– ensure that regular,free and fair elections and referenda are held
-organise, conduct and supervise elections in accordance with the constitution
-demarcate constituencies in accordance with the provisions in the constitution
-formulate and implement voter educational programmes etc related to elections.
-compile, maintain, revive and update the voters register etc etc etc. The commission per provisions guiding its operations captured in the constitution, is supposed to be free from the direction or control of any authority in the performance of its functions under the constitution. The committee has finished its work..The public can now scrutinise their recommendations judiciously. To remove the EC boss based on the procurement issue is not only unfair, but arbitrary and going to create a bad precedent. Future government may act same using this bogus recommendation and action by the president as test case. What has procurement got to do with the core functions the constitution mandates the EC to perform.
Those are issues the commission itself in collaboration with the investigative bodies can handle internally. Where is the EC’s independence if its internal procurement breaches could lead to removal of its bosses by the President upon recommendation by another autonomous body. Do we have laws guiding or regulating procurement procedure in Ghana? Have the laws been readily tested with regard to this particular case? and what does the law says.? What are the recommended punishment for persons found guilty of breaching the process? Is this the first time officials of a state agency have breached the procurement regime?
Did the committee take a serious look at the issues Charlotte complained about when she took over? Did their investigation vindicate her position? The weakest mind in the country will easily see the gargantuan blunder and arbitrariness in the judgement.
I think the ideal procedure should have been appearing before the public account committee of parliament for them to to answer the procurement issues raised against them. All public institutions and officers cited for breach of procurement regulations go through this procedure so why this treatment this time. I think that portion of the constitution must be looked at. That notwithstanding, I don’t think the spirit behind that portion of the constitution was what the President and his collaborators did. A EC boss should be removed from office if she/he misconduct himself with regard to election supervision or issues relating to our elections. The electoral commission must be allowed to enjoy its autonomy when it comes to its internal administrative issues and have its own promulgated sanctions.
PRE-TRIAL PRONOUNCEMENTS AND THE POLITICAL LINKAGES
The removal of the EC bosses has become a political issue because of pronouncements made by the current President, his nephew Gabby Otchere-Darko, his party’s officials including Ken Agyepong, Otiko Djaba and others. The desire and determination to get the woman out of office was clearly demonstrated by these persons. The faceless persons who petitioned the President are yet to disclose their identity and the lawyer representing them exposed his personal stance against the EC boss who was once his closest friend. Issues about our elections should not be treated this way. It has opened our democracy up for unnecessary manipulation and mischievous moves.
Future governments will use this precedent to pursue same agenda which will not augur well for the smooth running of our politics. Those looking at the matter purely and deliberately from the legal perspective, must also look at the political angle and the associated dangers. This can cause serious tension in other countries. The other commissioners are about to go on retirement and per our constitutional provisions, the President will have the opportunity of appointing new commissioners so why this hasty decision.
Source: Ohenenana Obonti Krow