NPP calls for consultations between IPAC, Council of State in appointment of EC boss
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have called for an engagement between political parties and the Council of State in the appointment of an Electoral Commissioner.
The party, in letter addressed to the Council of State, wants the council to act upon advice of groups like the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) when advising the President on who should serve on the Electoral Commission.
This, according to the party would not need an amendment to the constitution as in the case of the appointment of Appeals and High Court Judges on the advice of the Judicial Council, who are deemed most knowledgeable about their colleagues.
NPP’s Chairman, Jake Obestsebi Lamptey, who signed the letter told Joy News “What we are saying is that before the Council of State give that advise to the president to act on, they should please consult the political parties and this should be done in a transparent way so that we get people who everybody accepts…
“people [who] are likely to be not only competent but also fair, impartial and will give us the results which is the desire of the people.”
The Council of State could speak to the political parties individually or IPAC to suggest an individual or persons for the position.
Below is the full letter
Re: THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION AS A NEUTRAL REFEREE.
A bad referee spoils a good match and in a high stakes political contest can cause bloodshed. The majority of the Judges in the recent Presidential Election Petition at the Supreme Court found in one area or another, misrepresentations, omissions and malpractices. We thank God for the good sense of the Ghanaian that our country did not follow the example of other countries and seek to rectify grievances through violence.
The 1992 constitution gives to His Excellency the President, acting on the advice of the Council of State, the power to appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairmen and members of the Electoral Commission.
In the past these powers have been exercised without any consultation with the political parties.
Given that the Council of State is unfortunately perceived by members of the opposition and many other citizens, as being an adjunct of the executive, Ghana would be helped if the Council were to formalise and institutionalise a process to act upon the advice of amongst others, IPAC when advising H.E. the President on who should serve on the E.C.
This decision and action would not need an amendment to the constitution and would be very much in line with the spirit of article 144(3) on the appointment of Appeal and High Court Judges on the advice of the Judicial Council, who are those most knowledgeable about their colleagues, as the political parties may be presumed to be knowledgeable on political players.
This matter is urgent in view of the expected retirement in the near future of the Chairman of the E.C.
We therefore urge you and the Council to please give this matter your most careful consideration and bring the issue into the realm of light, transparency and shared ownership.
With all assurances etc etc.
I am, yours faithfully,
Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey
H.E. The President of Ghana
H.E. The Vice-President of Ghana
Rt. Hon. Speaker
Her Ladyship, The Chief Justice
H.E. President J.J. Rawlings
H.E. President J.A.Kufuor
Chairpersons IPAC member parties.
Chairman and Deputy Chairpersons E.C.
Centre for Democratic Development, Ghana
Institute of Democratic Governance, Ghana
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