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Don’t sue over Sex-for-EC-job comment – Baako tells EC boss 

Charlotte Osei, EC Chair

The chairperson of the Electoral Commission has been advised against taking legal action against Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyapong for his comments that she offered sex in exchange for her appointment to head the country’s election management body.

Assin Central Member of Parliament (MP) Kennedy Agyapong, while addressing some supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Kumasi on Saturday June 25, 2016, alleged that some highly-placed persons in government advised Mrs Osei – then chair of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), who took over from Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan as EC boss in June 2015 – to “bring your derriere in exchange for the EC Chair position”.

The controversial and outspoken legislator has been flayed for the remarks by several personalities and organisations including the Ark Foundation, the Media Foundation for West Africa, the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection Nana Oye Lithur among others.

Others have said the comments are misogynistic and have urged the EC boss to sue the lawmaker and clear her name.

But speaking on Newsfile on Multi Tv on Saturday July 2, the editor of the Crusading Guide newspaper advised Mrs Osei against the move, given the amount of work the election management body has on its hands vis-à-vis the little time at its disposal for preparations for the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.

“…I would advise Madam Charlotte Osei not to go for the legal option. It would be distractive. She has three, four months to tackle an election, which itself is a major problem. Why opt for that?”

The veteran editor would not buy the argument that the EC could still pursue the case against the MP without necessarily getting involved in the litigation or needing to make appearances in court, saying one can never completely “detach yourself from litigation”.

“So, I would advise that she doesn’t go in that direction,” he added.http://ghanapoliticsonline.com

The Electoral Commission intends to run the 2016 elections on November 7, earlier than the usual voting date of December 7 on which elections have been held since 1996 under the fourth republic, but the election management body is racing to have the date legislated by parliament.

It is yet to tick off the exhibition of the register of voters from its to-do list, while it is still niggled by a suit by People’s National Convention former Youth Organiser Abu Ramadan and one Evans Nimako pushing for the removal of the names of persons who registered as voters unto the poll roll by presenting health insurance cards, which the Supreme Court had ruled in 2014 were insufficient proof of a registrant’s nationality and could not be proffered as a valid national document.

The Supreme Court earlier instructed the EC to remove such names, a directive the EC failed to comply with, compelling Mr Ramadan to return to the country’s highest court for an interpretation. The court subsequently ordered the EC to submit to it names of such persons, which it fulfilled on June 29.

But the plaintiffs have raised issues with the credibility of the EC’s list, and the Supreme Court has asked them to file their objections by July 5.

The development further casts doubts on the EC’s ability to meet its proposed November 7 deadline for elections.

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