Former President John Dramani Mahama has described as regrettable President Nana Akufo-Addo’s nomination of Jean Adukwei Mensa as the new Electoral Commissioner for the elections governing body-Electoral Commission.
According to Mr. Mahama, the controversy surrounding the removal of Mrs. Charlotte Osei and her deputies and the subsequent appointment of Mrs. Jean Mensa and three other deputy commissioners was a potential threat to Ghana’s democratic credentials.
In a tweet yesterday, the former President wrote that, “In Harare as Head of the Commonwealth Observer Group to Zimbabwe’s harmonized Elections on July 30.
Proud to serve on the same mission with the highly respected former EC Chair, Kwadwo Afari Gyan, who for almost 2 decades established Ghana’s worldwide reputation for credible election management.
Current controversy surrounding removal of EC Chair and deputies and subsequent appointment of new commissioners is regrettable and carries a potential to erode Ghana’s democratic credentials”.
Recall that prior to election 2016, the NDC, which was then the ruling government, boycotted the IEA’s presidential debate, which meant that 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, described the then IEA boss as arrogant following her response to the concerns the NDC raised at the time over the debate.
Meanwhile, opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has already expressed its dissatisfaction with the nomination of Jean Adukwei Mensa saying she’s anti-NDC.
The party in statement said it will in due course provide details of what it calls “open and covert activities of Jean Mensa which makes her unfit to occupy the high position of Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of the Republic of Ghana.”
On Monday, July 23, 2018, the presidency announced the nomination of the Executive Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs, (IEA) Jean Adukwei Mensa as the new Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.
Other persons nominated for appointment by President Akufo-Addo to the Commission included: Samuel Tettey for the Deputy Chairperson, Dr. Eric Asare Bossman also as a Deputy Chairperson and Adwoa Asuama Abrefa as a Member of Commission.
Meanwhile, the Progressive People Party (PPP), have also accused President Nana Akufo-Addo of failing to consult political party representatives prior to the appointment of the EC officials.
In a statement signed by the National Secretary, Murtala Mohammed, it said the appointment of the new EC officials would have “passed the litmus test of transparency, good governance and best practices” if they were consulted.
The nomination of the new EC boss came against the backdrop of the removal of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwaa from office.
It was after a committee set up by the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, pursuant to Article 146(4) of the Constitution, investigated separate complaints of procurement breaches and financial malfeasance brought against the three persons by some Ghanaian citizens including staff of the Electoral Commission.
The Committee recommended their removal on the basis of stated misbehavior and incompetence, pursuant to Article 146 (1) of the Constitution.