The EC Chairperson is confused: it makes me worried

Charlotte Osei

Afari Gyan has been gone for less than a year but I miss him so much. Like every human being, he had his shortcomings but overall he served Ghana well. Mahama did well by giving him the highest national award. He is deserving of it.

Unlike Afari Gyan, Charlotte Osei may not finish her term if she continues in the manner she has started. Unfortunately, her misjudgements will not affect her alone but they also have the potential to throw Ghana in crisis.

Like other public servants, our taxes pay her so she is responsible to all Ghanaians. We therefore have to call her to order if things are not going well.

My assertions are based on the following:

1. Rebranding

Several things were wrong with the by EC decision to rebrand.

i. Wasteful spending – the previous logo of the commission did not pose any problems/issues. We could identify he EC with it and did not have cause to complain. It did not have to be changed. To the extent that she did not need to change the logo, the amount spent was total waste of money.

ii. Timing: The EC decided to prioritise rebranding instead of limited voter registration and drafting the necessary legislation to change the election date.

To give a piece of advice, the best way to build a brand is through the substance of what you sell and not just marketing or logos. The substance in this case is a credible election and that should be her focus.

2. Limited registration

The limited registration exercise was a total mess. The publicity for the exercise was poor. Some existing voters even ended up registering again and therefore risk being removed from the register. The EC even concedes that the publicity was poor. A day before the exercise the EC held a press conference to launch a logo but not to talk about the exercise. And guess what, the next day the media was discussing new EC logo and not the limited registration exercise. Several people could not register because registration centres were not easily accessible. As a result, many civil society organisations and political parties requested for extension. But the EC failed to heed to reason.

3. Voters register

The EC, political parties and Ghanaians agree that the voters’ register is bloated but there was disagreement as to how to fix the anomaly. NPP was agitating for a new register but NDC preferred cleaning of the existing register. The EC set up a panel to make recommendations on the way forward. The panel did not recommend a new register (which was a good decision) but they supported the idea of a clean-up of the register. With barely 5 months to the elections, we (Ghanaians) do not know HOW the EC will undertake the exercise.

4. Supreme Court judgement  

The Supreme Court judgement appears to be an albatross now. To the Supreme Court their order to the EC is clear:

  • DELETE the names of those who used the NHIS card to register and
  • REREGISTER those individuals who can proof their citizenship.

Why should deletion and reregistration be a problem? It beats my mind! The EC is beating about the bush with the order. The NDC seem to be vehemently opposed to this and the EC appears to tow their line. Why should a political party be concerned with a clean register? Does this suggest that there is a real mess on the register which possibly inure to the benefit of the NDC?

The EC must ensure fair play to ensure that the people of Ghana ELECT their leaders.

5. Date for voting

The date for this year’s election is still not clear. Constitutionally it is supposed to be 7th December but the EC wants to change it to 7th November. This requires parliament to pass an amendment to that effect. Both the majority (NDC) and minority (NPP) have complained about the delayed submission of the bill by EC. That means potentially the November 7 may not work. What has been the focus of the focus all this while? Rebranding?

I am really concerned! The EC Chairperson’s decisions so far have been controversial and appear to suggest that she is dancing to the tunes of NDC. Ghana is bigger than NPP and NDC. In fact not all Ghanaians vote. However, the consequences of electoral violence will affect everyone. Madam Charlotte Osei should therefore look at the broader picture and work for GHANAIANS because she owes her ALLEGIANCE to us.

Long live Ama Ghana!!

Source: Kwabena Boateng (kwabenaboatengwritings@gmail.com)

Note: The author’s view does not necessarily represent the views of GhanaCulturePolitics. You may submit your articles for review and publication to info@ghanaculturepolitics.com.

 

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