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Can the EC survive the recent tsunami?

Can the EC survive the recent tsunami?

Since becoming the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, Madam Charlotte Osei, has generated more heat than the proverbial kitchen. This is not her fault. We live in a society which is supposed to be democratic, but every issue is seen from a partisan political lens. Anyone occupying that position would have endured the same heat, innuendo and accusations of one sort or the other.

The recent hullaballoo involves attempts by a lawyer, Maxwell Opoku- Agyemang, who on behalf of some employees at the Electoral Commission, made a number of unsubstantiated allegations against Madam Charlotte Osei. They want her impeached.

Madam Osei has now made allegations of her own, accusing two senior members of EC of incompetence and the possible misuse of the Commission’s resources for purposes other than the good of the EC. Whom are we to believe?

All these suggests that there is something wrong with our democratic dispensation, the lack of political will to track and retrieve stolen wealth, and our inability or reluctance to control those in whom we place our trust.

The current impasse generated by the Chair of the Electoral Commission and her Deputies, Mrs. Georgina Opoku-Amankwah and Mr. Amadu Sulley is dangerous, and a threat to national security. After all, 2020 is not far away, and we cannot go into an election with a weak or weakened Chair of the EC surrounded by people in whom ewe have lost all confidence.

It should not have happened in the first place because Dr Kwadwo Afari-Djan left an institution with a global reputation for effectiveness, fairness, competence and reliability (in spite of all its perceived weaknesses). Ghana’s Electoral Commission was often cited globally as an example of how to organise a free and fair election.

Today, as we sit and ponder the Presidents next action, the Commission (EC) is in tatters. The 1992 Constitution can point the way, and that is what the Lawyer, President Akufo Addo will do. But can that save our reputation which is being chipped away in chunks? Public Agenda’s greatest worry is that both political parties are beginning to line up behind some partisan interests. As a result, the outcome will not satisfy any of the camps. It could be messy.

In the end, the three main protagonists in this unhealthy and damaging saga will have to go. In fact add all the Commissioners who sat back and allowed this to happen should join them. We need a clean sheet. This one is already soiled. Public Agenda cannot see how Madam Charlotte Osei can survive this mess.  Ghana deserves better.


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