Experts: EC Chair nomination required exhaustive consultation

Two governance experts have maintained that although the President did not flout the constitution in nominating Jean Mensa to head the Electoral Commission (EC), he could have worked at getting popular support for his nomination.


They are Dr Kojo Asante, Head of Advocacy and Policy Engagements at the Centre for Democratic Governance (CDD) and Fred Oduro, lecturer and resource person at the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS).


The experts pointed out that there should have been an effort to consult identifiable groups to build as much popular support for whichever appointee was nominated.


Dr. Asante noted that “there should be an effort to consult identifiable groups to build a much popular support for whichever appointee is nominated and President Nana Akufo-Addo could have consulted chiefs and religious groups and make the consultations public.


Mr Oduro said: “I would be happy if the President consulted the key think tanks who have played a significant role in our political development over the period which included former presidents that would have been great.


Touching briefly on election management, he indicated that the nation needed to scrutinise the election machinery to plug loopholes and potential sources of challenges.


“One of my biggest challenges in this country is, after the last elections, because an opposition party won, we’ve not done proper assessment of the elections.


“Proper assessment of the elections is not what happened with the declaration of the results but every aspect of the elections: did we follow the rules? Was everything as it should have been? Then we can really learn from our mistakes and improve on it,” Mr Oduro stressed.


He insisted that he held a contrary view that elections in the country are free and fair.


The National Democratic Congress (NDC) kicked against Mrs Mensa’s nomination to head the election management body when it was made public on Monday.


In a press release issued on July 23, 2018, in Accra, General Secretary of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said the party received news of the nomination of the Executive Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) with “shock and disbelief”.


“We are shocked because, until this appointment, the president had given assurance to the nation that the persons to be appointed into the Commission will be persons whose integrity and political neutrality will be above board,” the release said. –

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