Ghana could lose its hard won reputation as a model of democracy in Africa if the ongoing implosion at the EC is not doused immediately, Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey has warned.
The Executive Director at the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) also cautioned the “very high reputations” the country’s elections management body has won for itself, could be eroded with the kind of “serious” allegations the Commission’s Chair and her two deputies are throwing at each other.
President Nana Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, forwarded to the Chief Justice, a 27-point petition by some unnamed staff of the EC, seeking the removal of Mrs. Charlotte Osei from her position as the Chairperson of the Commission.
She could be suspended if the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, establishes a prima facie against her. And she could be removed from office if investigations into the allegations establish stated misconduct on her part.
Mrs. Osei in an earlier response to the allegations also accused her two deputies; Georgina Opoku Amankwaah and Amadu Sulley of engaging in criminal activities.
These matters Dr. Akwetey observed, could hurt Ghana’s democratic credentials if allowed to fester further.
“These are serious matters and when it is the people at the top who are saying things against each other then you better take them [allegations] seriously,” Dr. Akwetey noted while commenting on the issue on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM Thursday, July 27.
He reiterated the call by IDEG and the Civil Forum Initiates (CFI) for the three heads to step aside to allow the smooth running of activities at the EC which include a possible referendum on the election of Chief Executives for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), because, as things stand now, “they are not collaborating” with each other.
“It would be good if the three stood aside because a delay in the programme of the institution would have a far reaching repercussion, sometimes negative. They have a tight calendar; they have so many things on their table now,” Dr. Akwetey told Kojo Yankson, host of the show.
He said: “The EC is not only financed by the government of Ghana and the taxpayer” which therefore demands a proactive action in dealing with the situation to retain the confidence its international partners and donors have in them.
“AU [Africa Union] sees is as central to the success of electoral democracy in Africa…In the Commonwealth, they [EC] hold a different place…and so it’s a very important institution around which electoral democracy and democratic stability evolves,” he said.