The Electoral Commission (EC) has suspended the 18-member Election Steering Committee it inaugurated few days ago.
This follows massive protest against some members of the committee by pro-opposition pressure groups. The EC had earlier said it will not dissolve the committee over the allegations.
But it announced the latest decision after an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held today [Friday].
Three persons on the committee have been accused by pro-opposition group Let My Vote Account (LMVC), the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) and Mustapha Hamid, Spokesperson of the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), of being members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
They are Joseph Whittal, Deputy Commissioner at CHRAJ, Dr.Karl Max Aarhin, a Deputy Director of International Affairs of the NDC and Francis Azumah of the National Peace Council.
Meanwhile, the EC according to the political parties, has agreed to look into the concerns raised and address them appropriately.
Protest against NDC members on committee
The Electoral Commission inaugurated the steering committee ahead of this year’s election scheduled for November. The Let My Vote Count Alliance raised red flags against some members of the committee saying the composition is politically biased.
They accused the EC Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, of deliberately picking National Democratic Congress affiliates from relevant institutions to man the steering committee.
NDC is blameless – Anyidoho
A Deputy General Secretary of the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho, said the party cannot be blamed for the inclusion of its Deputy Director of International Relations, Dr. Karl Marx Arhin, on the Elections Steering Committee.
Mustapha Hamid, Spokesperson for NPP Presidential Candidate, Nana Akufo Addo, asked some two members of the 18-member committee to step down.
We won’t dissolve committee
On Thursday February 18, the Electoral Commission called the bluff of the pro-opposition groups saying the mere fact that there are concerns with one or two persons on the committee, does not mean the entire committee is compromised.
NSS did no wrong
The Executive Director of the National Service Secretariat (NSS), Dr. Michael Kpessa Whyte, also defended the initial selection of Dr. Karl Marx Arhin as the representative of the NSS on the committee, saying nothing bars him as a citizen from holding that position even though he is a card bearing member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Dissolve committee now – AFAG
Pro-opposition pressure group, Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), joined the chorus by alleging that a third person on the committee was also an NDC member and so the committee must be dissolved.
I’ve no NDC membership card
But that member, Joseph Whittal, a Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, rejected allegations that he should be withdrawn from the committee because he is a known loyalist of the NDC.
By: Godwin A. Allotey & Fred Djabanor/citifmonline.com/Ghana