I am disappointed in Mahama – Sir John

Former General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie says he is disappointed in President John Mahama for appointing a chairman for the Electoral Commission when the Supreme Court is yet to rule on a petition brought before it concerning the appointment.

According to him, there has been too much confusion about whether it should be the president or the council of elders who should appoint the EC and the president should have waited for these controversies to be settled before he proceeded to appoint the new chair.

Speaking on Adom FM’s morning show, the legal practitioner who is popularly known as Sir John said although it was the prerogative of the president to announce the appointment, the most appropriate thing to do was to wait for the ruling from the Supreme Court.

Following the retirement of Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, president Mahama has appointed the Chair of the National Commission on Civic Education, Charlotte Osei as the head of the electoral body.

Before her appointment however, many have questioned whose prerogative it was to appoint the EC chair – president Mahama or the Council of elders.

Article 70 (2) of the constitution says, “The President shall, acting on the advice of the Council of State, appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, and other members of the Electoral Commission.”

Article 91(3) of the same Constitution says, “The Council of State may, upon request or on its own initiative, consider and make recommendations on any matter being considered or dealt with by the President, a Minister of State, Parliament or any other authority established by this constitution except that the President, Minister of State, Parliament or other authority shall not be required to act in accordance with any recommendation made by the Council of State under this clause.”

A journalist with Accra based Citi FM Richard Skyy is currently before the Supreme Court to seek interpretation on the appointment of a new EC chair.

The minority and other stakeholders cautioned the president to make broader consultations before the appointment.

But even before the court could rule on the case, President Mahama has appointed a new commissioner, Charlotte Osei, an appointment that has angered the former NPP General Secretary.

Sir John said the president needs to explain how the appointment of the new commissioner was made and who contributed to it

He said the president should have waited for the Supreme Court ruling before going ahead with the appointment but once the new chair has been appointed an explanation must be given.

He however, congratulated Mrs Osei for her new role and said he was confident that she would straighten up activities at the commission.

He advised that the new chair must ensure that the electoral reforms proposed by the political parties are followed through.

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