The Electoral Commission (EC) says it will not dissolve the 18-member Steering Committee it set up to play what it says is a key role ahead of the November election.
The Committee has been hit by allegations that it comprises card holding members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), prompting the withdrawal of Dr Karl Mark Arhin, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the National Service Scheme.
A political pressure group, the Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA), has called on the EC to disband the committee entirely, but the commission stated Thursday that it was not considering that option.
“In the Commission’s view, it is important to have a committee of that nature; that’s the Election Steering Committee and so they will be part of our preparation towards the elections. They have very key roles to play especially because the
representatives come from institutions that we deal with on regular basis so far as elections in this country are concerned.”
“One or two biased members can’t stop us,” the Director of Public Affairs at the Electoral Commission, Christian Owusu Parry, told Accra-based Joy FM.
According to him there are administrative decisions that the commission is empowered by the constitution to make and for that reason does not need to consult political parties for approval. He said such decisions are taken at the administrative level and that political parties are consulted on key issues when the need arises.
Mr Parry said the Electoral Commission did nothing wrong with the constitution of the committee.
He maintained that the EC wrote to specific institutions to send one delegate to represent them on the committee and that it was the obligation of those institutions to conduct background checks on the political leanings of such delegates.
This has however been contradicted by the National Peace Council, as its chairman, Most Rev Prof Emmanuel Asante in a radio interview said on Thursday morning that the council was not consulted in the appointment of its Executive Secretary.
According to Mr Parry, the EC was in no position to doubt the integrity or question the political leanings of the people the institutions sent to them.
Mr Parry said he did not see how mere accusations of political leanings of one or two members should call for the scrapping of the entire committee which by its nature is very necessary.
He said having an electoral management body to take those administrative decisions was key to the successful conduct of this year’s elections.
The Electoral Commission inaugurated an 18-member steering committee to oversee and ensure the smooth conduct of this year’s general elections.
The committee which is chaired by the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs. Charlotte Osei includes acting boss of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Joseph Whittal and COP Christian Tetteh Yohuno, the Director-General of Police Operations.
Other members of the committee are Col F. Ogbe, Deputy Director General of Joint Operations from the Ghana Armed Forces, Mr Samuel Asare Akuamoah, Deputy Chairman in charge of operations at NCCE, Mr Bernard Ntim, Head of Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring Unit at the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr Francis Azuimah, Executive Secretary of National Peace Council, Mr George Sarpong, Executive Secretary, National Media Commission (NMC), and Sylvester K. B. Rabbles, Director of Prisons Operations, Ghana Prisons Service.
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