Electoral Commission Chief Jean Mensa Most Go Now

“…The reports that matter are all in:… Ms. Jean Adukwei Mensa must go…In retrospect, Ms. Charlotte… was a credible, astute, and effective leader… On the contrary…EC freshman Commissioner Ms. Mensa has become a canker on the Ghana EC, and a poor reflection on the EC and its employees…(T)hat voters in a Region or two were completely disenfranchised…There was no credible or valid reason to justify changes Ms. Jean Mensa caused to the manner votes were tabulated…from Accra… Then,…reports where the EC could not even get their arithmetic right… Ms. Jean Adukwei Mensa must go, now!…” (Prof Lungu, 3 January, 2021).

The constitutional crises created by the Ghana Electoral Commission under the freshman-leadership of Ms. Jean Adukwei Mensa, previously head of the Institute of Economic Affairs, is a serious one that can only be resolved in part by her immediate departure from that hallowed position.

The reports that matter are all in.

The reports attest unpardonable cases of incompetence, callous disregard of established procedures and protocols for management of elections, and possibly, deliberate sabotage of election procedures for the benefit of the party that appointed Ms. Jean Adukwei Mensah.

Read More: Call for an Independent Audit of Electoral Results: A Testament of Statesmanship and a Bold Step towards Democratic Consolidation

Ms. Jean Adukwei Mensa must go, now!

In retrospect, Ms. Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei, the Electoral Commissioner before Jean Mensah, was a credible, astute, and effective leader.

Ms. Osei was a great credit to the Ghana elections machinery until she was unfairly dismissed in 2018, in my humble opinion, for what the Akufo Addo government alleged were breaches of “procurement laws”. To date, no government agency has showed Ghanaians how much Ms. Osei, currently Director, Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa, profited from those so-called breaches of “procurement laws”, totally unrelated to the mission of managing public elections.

Significantly, none of the violations of “procurement laws” detracts from Ms. Osei’s contribution to the hard-won and “carefully carved reputation” of the Ghana Electoral Commission, in Professor Ransford Gyampo-speak (Ghanaweb, 27 December, 2020).

Interestingly, going back about 3 decades, the Electoral Commission’s “carefully carved reputation” was “carved” primarily during the tenure of Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, during 1990s, up to 2015; and during Ms. Osei’s tenure, who succeeded Dr. Afari-Djan, during the 3 years that followed, that saw the election of the current NPP government in 2016, under Akufo Addo.

Plainly, Ms. Mensa had no role in establishing the reputation of that hallowed EC reputation.

On the contrary.

We submit that EC freshman Commissioner Ms. Mensa has become a canker on the Ghana EC, and a poor reflection on the EC and its employees, and supporters.

Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby’s, “The unnecessary detour that has derailed the integrity of election 2020 outcome” (Ghanaweb, 18 December, 2020), was to the point.  Dr. Wereko-Brobby found no credible or valid reason to justify changes Ms. Jean Mensa caused to the manner votes were tabulated “to reach the outcome” she announced from Accra, tens and hundreds of miles away from the constituency centers where the votes were actually cast; locations where chain-of-custody records attested the elections sheets were, physically.

Ms. Jean Adukwei Mensa must go, now!

The reports, now fully validated, attest that voters in a Region or two were completely disenfranchised and were otherwise physically prevented by EC directive from voting for a Member of Parliament (MP) in any constituency.

That is another egregious and unpardonable blemish caused by Ms. Mensa on the performance, reputation, and objectivity of the EC.

Whether, in the mind of Ms. Mensa, the reason is related to the creation of those unnecessary regions for the purpose of further balkanizing Ghana, or lack of adequate planning/preparation by the EC, or inability to put herself in the shoes of others, etc., that influenced Ms. Jean Mensa’s decision to ban citizens residing in Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe, Lolobi (SALL) from voting for a MP, those citizens and all Ghanaians deserve a speedy answer, and some form of compensation.

Ms. Jean Adukwei Mensa must go, now!

Then, there were all those reports where the EC could not even get their arithmetic right with respect to count of votes casted (e.g. Techiman South).

Ms. Jean Adukwei Mensa must go, now!

The immediate and forced departure of Ms. Mensa from the Ghana EC is conceivably a pithy but crucial step if Ghana is to begin re-positioning the Electoral Commission as an objective, credible, non-partisan public agency established by the people, supervised by the people, supported by the people, for elections across Ghana’s electoral constituencies, from north to south, east to west, from one village to another, from one town to another, from one city to the other.

Ms. Jean Adukwei Mensa must go, now!

Crucially, unlike Ms. Osei, Ms. Jean Mensa failed directly at accomplishing the mission she was charged with consistent with the Constitution and her responsibilities for objectivity and non-partisanship:

“(M)anage the conduct of…public elections and Referenda…”.

Ms. Jean Mensa must go, now!

Still unsettling, in our modest opinion, is the continued, radio-silence on the part of “the Council of State, Peace Council, CHRAJ, NCCE…”, (See Professor Kweku Asare, Ghanaweb, 3 January, 2021) in the matter of the disenfranchisement of fellow citizens who were barred from selecting a MP by the EC under the leadership of Ms. Jean Adukwei Mensa.

So, while the Council of State, Peace Council, CHRAJ, NCCE individually and as a group take their sweet time to decide what they want to do about the matter, we declare one more time:

Ms. Jean Adukwei Mensa must go, now!

So it goes, Ghana!

By: Prof Lungu

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