Minority Spokesperson on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Joe Osei Owusu, has backed calls for President John Dramani Mahama to ensure broader consultation among key stakeholders before appointing a new Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC).
The current EC Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, is presently on leave ahead of his retirement in June 2015.
Under the 1992 Constitution, the President has the power to appoint a successor on the advice of the Council of State.
In backing calls for greater transparency in naming a new EC boss, Joe Owusu who is also the Member of Parliament for Bekwai said both the President and the Council of State will serve Ghana’s democracy very well if they open the process to carry along all stakeholders.
He explained in a Citi News interview that “the council of state’s advice should go to the president after widespread consultation of stakeholders.”
The MP insisted that “the council of state should listen to everybody who has suggestion to make as well as involve as many stakeholder as possible” adding that “in the end the advice is theirs but they would have had the benefit of listening to everybody who has something to say.”
Joe Owusu said after all “the sole objective is to be able to get a chairman of the electoral commission who is impartial. Every human being has a leaning left or right but the ability to do something in spite of your leaning is what is required.”
“A council of state that is determined to help deepen the democracy we have will be able to talk to all these NGO’s, state institutions and all stakeholders,” he added.
Four names for EC job
Daily Graphic reported that four names have emerged as potential successors to Dr Afari Gyan.
They are the Chairman of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry that inquired into the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Mr Justice Senyo Dzamefe, who is also a Court of Appeal judge; the Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr Emmanuel Akwetey; the Deputy Chairman in charge of Operations at the EC, Mr Amadu Sulley, and the Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Professor Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi.
But Prof. Gyimah-Boadi, has turned down the offer saying he is too busy.