Charlotte’s Osei appointment a plus for govt – Political Scientist

A Political Scientist has surmised that the appointment of the first female head of the Electoral Commission would be good for government’s image.

“It’s a plus for the Mahama administration in terms of appointment of women to key decision-making positions”, said Dr Ransford Gyampo, Head of Political Science Department at the University of Ghana.

Dr. Gyampo, says the appointment of Mrs Charlotte Osei as the new Chair of the EC is a good precedent that will foster national efforts to empower women.

“It is also a clever way of [ending] controversy with respect to who takes the position of [Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan]”, he told host Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Kojo Yankson, on Friday.

Mrs Charlotte Osei joins another woman -Mrs Georgina Opoku Amankwa, who is Head of Administration and Finance- at the EC’s key decision-making positions.

In the days leading to the retirement of Dr Afari Gyan, opposition political parties in the country called for broader consultations in the appointment of a new Chair for the EC. They said a broad consultation is necessary to get all parties to accept the eventual appointee.

It seems that call was not heeded to with the surprise appointment of Mrs Osei.

Charlotte Osei
However, Dr Gyampo is hopeful Mrs Osei is very likely to be accepted by all the parties.

“I am not sure that Charlotte is much tainted politically even though she was appointed by the NDC [government] to the NCCE. So in terms of people accepting her I don’t see that there will be a lot of problem”, the Political Scientist said on the Super Morning Show.

He explains: “One of the fears of many parties was that ‘if you don’t take care someone who is so biased would be appointed. But in this case, I don’t see that is the situation”.

According to him even if new EC boss is seen as politically biased, that should not affect outcome of elections in the country.

“Elections are lost and won at the polling stations, period”, he said.

The Political Scientist is however worried about the ability of the new EC Chair to withstand pressures from political parties in the country.

“How tough is she?How assertive is she? This appointment is a test of the independence of the Electoral Commission because many have argued that the EC owed its independence to the firm character of Afari Gyan. Now that he has retired, let’s see how the EC fares”, he said.

He was however hopeful that the EC’s independence would not be watered-down with Mrs Osei now at the helm of affairs.

The new EC boss is lawyer with experience in public service management and institutional reform. She also has expertise in corporate law, banking, insurance, project financing and public-private partnerships.

Mrs Osei holds a Masters in Law (LLM) from Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada and a Master’s in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa, Pretoria. She obtained an LLB (Hons) from the University of Ghana in 1992.

Story by Ghana | | George Nyavor | [email protected]

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