NPP demands IPAC meeting to ‘disqualify’ EC panel
The New Patriotic Party is asking the Electoral Commission to, as a matter of urgency, convene an inter party advisory committee meeting to review the panel set to moderate the public hearing over proposals for a new voters’ register.
The party believes three of the five member panel named by the EC to supervise the public hearing are compromised.
According to the NPP Director of Elections and Research, Martin Adjei Mensah Korsah the chair of the panel, a retired judge, Justice VCRAC Crabbe and former moderator of the Methodist Church, Rev Dr Emmanuel Asante have openly stated their opposition to calls for a new Voters’ Register.
A third panel member, Dr Nii Narku Quainoo, the NPP claims is an open member of the NDC and cannot sit on an independent panel to collate views on the controversial voters’ register.
The two other members of the committee are Dr. Grace Bediako, a former Government Statistician and former member of the National Development Planning Commission and Maulvi Bin Salih, Ameer of the Ahmadiyya Mission of Ghana.
The NPP Director of elections is expected to write to the EC to officially register their protest and call for an IPAC meeting.
Whilst at that, the Director of Communications of the party, Nana Akomea said it is in the interest of the three individuals mentioned to recuse themselves.
“If you are a judge and you already have a view on a matter, you recuse yourself,” he told Joy News’ Newsnight programme Monday.
He said whilst the two others Justice Crabbe and Rev Dr Asante have kicked against the new register, Dr Quainoo has represented the NDC in one or two fora on elections and that completely compromises his position.
He said having made public their position on the matter, there would always be perception of bias even if they go about their duties objectively.
“I am sure the NDC would object if I were to be made a panel on a dumsor hearing,” he pointed out.
But a Political Science lecturer with the University of Ghana Dr Seidu Alidu says the NPP is being overly “preemptive”.
He would rather the party waits for the panel to conclude the hearing so they subject the activities of the panel members to critical scrutiny.
Dr Seidu conceded some of the members may have leanings to one party or another but said because of their level of experience and expertise it is likely they will do a professional job.
He accused the opposition party of jumping the gun, adding they can pull out of the public hearing the same way the NDC pulled out of the IEA debate if they feel so strongly about the issues.