By Adu Koranteng
The President of the Republic, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appointed a new Chairperson and two Deputies for the Electoral Commission (EC) after the interdiction of Charlotte Osei and her two deputies over alleged acts of corruption.
Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa according to a press release signed by the Chief of Staff, Hon. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, will take over from Charlotte Osei as the new EC Chairperson whilst Mr. Samuel Tettey and Dr. Eric Asare Bossman will assist as Deputy Chairpersons respectively.
The President has also appointed Ms. Adwoa Asuma Abrefa as a member of the Commission.
According to the Press releases, the new appointments follows the removal from office of the former Chairperson of the EC, Mrs. Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, Mr. Amadu Sulley and Mrs. Georgina Opoku Amankwah on June 28 2018.
Mrs. Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, Mr. Amadu Sulley and Mrs. Georgina Opoku Amankwah were removed from office after the Committee established by the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo investigated petitions brought against them, recommending their removal from office.
The Chief of Staff also stated that Ms. Adwoa Asuma Abrefa’s appointment as a member of the Commission became necessary when Mrs. Paulina Dadzawa who was in that capacity is retired on April 30, 2018 creating additional vacancy in the Commission.
The new EC Chairperson until her appointment was the Executive Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).
Dr Eric Asare Bossman is a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana whilst Samuel Tettey is Director of Electoral services in charge of elections at the Electoral Commission.
Ms Adjoa Esuama Abrefa is a corporate legal practitioner with specialisation in land property acquisition.
The President is however seeking the advice from the Council of State on the new appointments and hopes that the Council of State will discharge its constitutional duty “expeditiously to enable him make these critical appointments to the Commission.”
About Jean Adukwei Mensa
Mrs. Jean Mensa is the Executive Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Ghana’s premier public policy institute and Coordinator of the Ghana Political Parties Programme.
The institute is one of 51 policy research organizations in 23 developing countries that receive multi-year funding from the Think Tank Initiative.
She is a lawyer with experience in the area of policy research and advocacy.
She also worked on the Presidential Transition Act of 2012; the Revised 1992 Constitution of Ghana (draft); the Political Parties Funding Bill and the Revised Political Parties Bill.
She advocated for the review of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution and served as a Commissioner of the Government-established Constitution Review Commission.
She worked on the government committee tasked with preparing the Affirmative Action Bill.
She is married with three children.
Jean Mensah not in the good books of NDC
It must however be stated that Madam Jean Mensa has not been in the good books of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Prior to election 2016, the NDC, which was then the ruling government, boycotted the IEA’s presidential debate, which meant that then President John Dramani Mahama, who was the NDC’s candidate, did not participate in the national debate.
Some NDC members who were officials of the government, including a deputy minister of communications, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, had described her as arrogant following her response to the concerns the NDC raised at the time over the debate.
“She absolutely has no right and her wings must be clipped by that organisation if indeed they want to be taken seriously in this country. Political parties are not minor organisations neither are they school boys to be summoned by the IEA as and when it chooses to debate,” Kwakye Ofosu said.
Kwakye Ofosu said this after Jean Mensa insisted that the presidential and vice-presidential debates would go on with or without the National Democratic Congress (NDC)’s participation.
The national organizer of the NDC, Kofi Adams, accused the civil society organisation of failing to consult the party before announcing an outline for the debates.
Mr. Adams also threatened the NDC would boycott the debates, saying: “IEA cannot just announce a programme, it has not engaged the party on. We are surprised… So if the party has their own programme how are you going to organize it? You don’t go and engage one side and leave the other. We are a serious political party.”
But speaking to the media, Mrs. Mensah said it was not mandatory for the IEA to consult political parties before coming up with its plan to organise the debates.
She said the IEA’s policy over the years had been to launch its election activities before engaging the parties, adding that the organisation would go ahead to organise the debate with or without the NDC, which it did.