The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been proven wrong by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Charlotte Osei, spokesperson for the party’s presidential candidate for the 2016 elections and now president-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated.
Madam Osei, a former Chairperson of the National Commission on Civic education (NCCE) was appointed in the middle of 2015 to replace long-serving Chairman of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, who was retiring.
Being the first ever female to take up the office since Ghana gained independence, her appointment was deemed by many as commendable with the exception of the NPP.
Though the party did not question her competence at the time, it expressed its unhappiness at President John Mahama for not addressing key recommendations in the Constitutional Review Committee report before appointing Dr Afari Gyan’s replacement.
“The Constitutional Review Committee report sought a move away from the indefinite tenure of [Electoral Commissioners] to some limited tenure for election administration. Across the globe Ghana seems to be the only odd one in this process of an indefinite tenure”, the NPP’s Director of Elections, Martin Adjei Mensah Korsah stated, adding that “but all of these, I don’t think, have been properly addressed. For now we can say congratulations to her. One cannot challenge her competence”.
A few months after, the NPP’s tune had changed and Mrs Osei was being severely criticised at every turn of the way in the run up to Wednesday’s general elections.
Key in their criticisms was a seeming fear of a possible rigging agenda by the EC Chairperson to the advantage of President Mahama and the NDC.
Indeed, NPP Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong at a rally in Kumasi alleged that Mrs Osei was only handed her position because she traded her body.
The party’s deputy general secretary, Nana Obiri Boahen is also on record to have stated that Mrs Osei was worse than Dr Afari Gyan whom, the party had severely criticised especially after the 2012 general elections.
The EC’s handling of the disqualifications of some flagbearers and the numerous litigations that arose thereafter and the chaotic ‘special voting exercise’, a few days to the genral elections engendered the NPP’s criticisms that the EC Cahirperson was incompetent at her job.
But considering the EC’s critically acclaimed performance on December 7, Mr Hamid has admmitted that Mrs Osei performed well beyond their expectations.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Newsfile, a day after his boss was declared president-elect by Mrs Osei, Mustapha Hamid said, “Let’s be honest, Charlotte Osei’s appointment was greeted with a lot scepticism and suspicion by the NPP. No doubt about it” and “she was out there to prove us wrong and it was her duty to prove us wrong and she has absolutely proved us wrong”.