EC Chairman Must Be Approved By Parliament – Mike Ocquaye
The former Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye has raised concerns about the appointment of the chairman of the Electoral Commission.
In a paper delivered on his behalf by the former chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Peter Mac Manu at the forum organized by the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) he said the system where the appointment of the EC chairman is the sole responsibility of the President of the Republic is ”dangerous”.
Prof Mike Oquaye cited the Sudanese example where the president ”appoints, [EC Chairman] subject to two-thirds majority approval of all members of parliament”.
According to him the current system where sometimes the president is also a candidate in presidential elections and appoints the ”umpire without any input from the other side is dangerous”.
Prof. Ocquaye argued that it is unwise for the president to continuously appoint a chairman for the electoral commission alone.
He insisted that the majority approval of the EC chairman will strengthen and uphold the independence of the electoral commission.
He further added that the Electoral Commissioner be elected on a tenure basis. ”A further view is that the Electoral Commissioner should be given a fixed tenure, say six years only,” he said.
”Accountability mechanism must be established to regulate the EC’s administrative machinery; the number of errors, acts of omissions which the EC chairman himself admitted in court as administrative lapses cannot be ignored,” he suggested.
The Supreme Court of Ghana recommended some electoral reforms after ruling on the election petition brought before it by the main opposition New Patriotic Party on the 2012 presidential election which announced President John Dramani Mahama.
The controversy surrounding the SC’s verdict has lead to the proposal of reforms to the country’s electoral process and system.
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