Stephen Asare: Pres didn’t err in Charlotte Osei, 2 deputies’ removal

Prof Asare

Prof Asare

United States-based lawyer, Prof. Stephen K. Asare, has reaffirmed that President Nana Akufo-Addo did not err by removing the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) and her two deputies.

He insisted that due processes were followed in removing Mrs Charlotte Osei, Chairperson of the EC and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwah from office.

Explaining his comment, Prof. Asare indicated that it was only right for the EC Chair and her two deputies to be removed, given the many challenges that emerged ahead of the 2016 elections.

“I saw a lot of challenges with the Electoral Commission, before the elections, challenges with disqualifying candidates based on flimsy excuses, many of them and a lot of issues they had spoken about.

“Accusations by the EC Chairperson against other members, and the members also accusing the EC Chairperson, it was just right for them to go and I believe the right thing was done in this instance,” Prof Asare maintained.

Charlotte Osei and her two deputies’ removal had been criticised by the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who view the move as an attempt by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to rig the 2020 elections.

Prof. Asare however, disagreed with suggestions that their removal was deliberate and pointed out that “although the EC Commissioners are independent, they are supposed to be held accountable for their actions and inactions.

“I do not think it is wrong, I do not think you are changing the referees in the game, EC members are supposed to be independent, but being independent does not mean you are not accountable.

“They are also supposed to be accountable, the accountability mechanism is the petitioning process that Article 146 outlines which empowers any citizen who sees wrongdoing at the Electoral Commission to file a petition with the President,” Prof Asare noted.

The removal of the three EC Commissioners from office followed a recommendation from a Committee set up by the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo to probe multiple complaints against the EC officials.

Allegations of procurement breaches and malfeasance were brought against them, following which the Chief Justice established a prima facie case against them.

The committee cited misbehaviour and incompetence as reasons for the dismissal, pursuant to Article 146(4) of the Constitution. –

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