A group affiliated to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) is vindictively opposing the decision by the Royal Institute of International Affairs, to shortlist for it awards this year, chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs. Charlotte Osei.
The Coalition to Elect Nana Addo and Bawumia (CENAB) formed to ensure an Akufo-Addo-Bawumia victory in the 2016 general elections based in the United Kingdom (UK), is not happy that the first woman chairperson, has been nominated for the prestigious 2017 Chatham House Prize in the UK.
They have subsequently written a long statement which The Herald has sighted to the Institute, citing reasons why Mrs. Osei, should not be given the award. The winner of the award, will be announced at the end of April, 2017.
According to CENAB, the Institute will be making a mistake, if it ignores all the facts available and award Mrs. Osei, because events leading to the elections last year and the stance of the EC boss, who was appointed the same year, did not make it appropriate for her to be conferred the award.
“We contend this for various tangible reasons as far as the 2016 general election is concerned”, the statement said.
The statement signed by seven members, including Peter Antwi Boasiako and Kingsley Adumattah Agyapong said, “As one of the well respected Prestigious awards in the world, the Chatham House Prize, is mostly awarded to a person, persons or an organization that is deemed to have made the most significant contributions to the improvement of international relations in the previous year.
It will be a big misplaced and controversial decision to consider Mrs. Osei, to receive such an award amongst well deserving nominees such as Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia, for formally ratifying a peace agreement with the FARC rebel group and bringing an end to the war in Colombia, and Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of NATO, for steering NATO through one of the most complicated periods in its recent history”.
Conspicuously missing in their statement, is their affiliation to the current president, Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP leading to their biased stance.
Following CENAB on the same witch hunting spree is another NPP group, Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) which has also issued a similar statement to the Institute, requesting that Mrs. Osei be denied.
In a 14 points statement AFAG said, “We, respectfully, strongly implore your distinguished organisation to ponder on your final consideration. It is time to ignore and punish public officials, who act with complete disdain for the constitution and disregard court rulings, but turn round to hypocritically and opportunistically seek for honours they have not earned”.
Their statements, have surprised many, especially on social media who say the EC boss, deserves everything being proposed by the Institute.
According to the Director of Chatham House, Dr. Robin Niblett CMG, the nomination of Mrs. Osei was based on her admirable supervision of Ghana’s peaceful and transparent electoral process in December 2016.
“The recent election consolidated Ghana’s 24-year long democratic trajectory and was norm setting for Africa, the Commonwealth and beyond; your tireless efforts throughout 2016 were central to this success,” Chatham House said. Mrs. Osei is the only female and African to be nominated for the 2017
But CENAD claims that, Mrs. Osei at a point vowed not to allow for reforms in the electoral process even after the Supreme Court and others, had made several suggestions to that effect.
It said “Mrs. Charlotte Osei’s in frangible posture started earlier before the elections, when she vowed not to allow any significant reforms to take place in the electoral process for the 2016 elections.
This was in spite of all the good reformative suggestions made by the Supreme Court, the Civil Society Organizations, the opposition Political Parties and Christian organizations in Ghana”.
Some Ghanaians are shocked as to why after Mrs. Osei, who supervised one of the most successful elections in the country and on the continent, a group who are supposed to be Ghanaians, will muster courage and counter the award.
Among those who want the award to go to the EC chair are, Managing Director (MD) of Graphic Group of Companies, Ken Ashiegbe, former deputy minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Dzifa Gomashie and others, who have given their backing to the decision.
What was most shocking was CENAB sharp departure from similar attacks on then EC chair Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan to sudden singing of praises of some sort describing him as having conducted the most credible elections in the country and beyond.
Dr. Afari Gyan until his exit as EC boss, was never spared by CENAB’s mother party, the NPP. He was verbally attacked so much to the extent that, he was cursed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Ken Agyapong, as the NPP couldn’t wait to see his back.
“Before Charlotte Osei took over from her predecessor, Dr Afari Gyan, the former Ghana EC Chairman, Ghana had conducted a number of peaceful and transparent elections to the appreciation and admiration of the world, and had made tremendous significant improvements on its electoral processes since December 2000”, group finally admitted.
In conclusion, CENAB urged the Institute to rethink about their decision to award the EC boss because in their view, she did not merit it.
“With all these few instances and details available, we do not believe it will make good prudential judgment to award Mrs. Charlotte Osei with such a world class prize for only supervising, but without any proactive input as commissioner, in the recent Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Ghana.
We think she is undeserving of this prize and entreat the management at Chatham House to reconsider their decision”, the statement said.
Past recipients of the Chatham House Prize include, former President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor and former President of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano.
Also, the former President of Brazil, Luiz Ina?cio Lula da Silva, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese Democracy Campaigner and Leader of the National League for Democracy have also been honoured with an award from Chatham.