Pro-opposition pressure group, Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), has commended the Electoral Commission for suspending the 18- member election Steering Committee, initially set up to help organise the November 7 general elections.
The Chairman of AFAG, Dr. Ayew Afriyie on Eyewitness News, described the EC’s decision as “very necessary and positive.”
The decision was announced after an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held on Friday.
“I will say that yes I am happy. The step that has been taken by the EC is very necessary and a positive one. She [EC Chairperson], has respected the concerns of the public because whatever power is invested in her, is meant to be used on behalf of the people and not against the people … I am happy that she engaged the actual stakeholders (IPAC), those who are the beneficiaries, ultimate beneficiaries of the outcome of the election and they have decided to advise against that move and that is pleasant…,” he said.
The EC inaugurated the Steering Committee ahead of this year’s election, but some groups and individuals including pro-opposition group, Let My Vote Count Alliance, and AFAG, protested against some members of the committee, accusing them of being card-bearing members of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).
They also accused the EC Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, of deliberately selecting NDC sympathizers from various institutions, ostensibly to help the NDC government stay in power.
Three persons on the committee were accused by LMVCA, AFAG and Mustapha Hamid, Spokesperson of the Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), of being members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Following the accusations, the National Service Secretariat nominee, Dr. Karl Marx Arhin, who works for the NDC and the National Secretariat, was withdrawn from the committee.
Karl Marx the ‘Mole’
The NDC party did not jump to the defense of Dr Karl Marx. A Deputy General Secretary of the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho, said the party cannot be blamed for the inclusion of Dr. Karl Marx Arhin, on the National Elections Steering Committee. Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Anyidoho said in remedying the situation, all they could do as a responsible party, was to insist on his withdrawal from the committee by writing to the National Service Secretariat.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the National Service Secretariat (NSS), Dr. Michael Kpessa Whyte, has 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.)
EC must be transparent
Dr. Ayew Afriyie further emphasized the need for the EC to be open about its decisions since the country is preparing for a crucial election in November.
“The EC must know that this election comes at a time that people are very passionate about what is going to happen because of what happened in 2012; and the petition of 2013…so what we are saying is that, let’s be open . Even when you have taken a stance already attempt to be transparent, attempt to let the people know that you respect your stakeholders …”
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana