EC commissioners don’t trust each other – Report

The seven commissioners at Ghana’s electoral commission do not trust themselves, a report by the Special Committee of Parliament has revealed.

According to the report, the high  level of mistrust among the key officials at the commission is impeding the smooth discharge of their duties.

The revelation came to light during the debate in Parliament ahead of the approval of the 2017 budget estimate for the commission.

Head of the Special Budget Committee of the House Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu advised the commissioners to learn to trust each other since it is critical for the organisation of elections in the country.

“The general observation from the committee was that the commissioners are not on good terms. It cannot be good for the conduct of elections. For instance, when they appeared before us and we asked the whereabouts of the chairman, the deputy commissioner said: ‘My information is that she has travelled outside’ without informing the others. They don’t know that she is outside the country. The deputy commissioners didn’t know the whereabouts of the chairperson of the commission. It cannot be good for the image of the commission. That is why we are saying that we should find a way to resolve the differences amongst them because ultimately it will impact on the conduct of elections…”  the minister in charge of  of Parliamentary affairs said.

He continued: “There is a possibility of having a referendum next year to determine whether or not the election of DCEs should be by popular vote. The EC should be engaging in the non-election-related activities now. There are certain activities that must be initiated this year. We met them and they admitted no such preparation is being made and often they wait until the last minute and engage in quick-fix solutions. It’s not good for us. Next year is going to be an election year, if we have to conduct the referendum. The ensuing year will be the year for the district assembly and then into 2020, so for three successive years, they are going to have elections, so they need to prepare but there is no reflection of that in the 2017 budget and it should be worrying to all of us. It is not good for the EC. They need themselves to recruit qualified personnel for the IT department. Most of them there don’t even meet the standard and they are pretending to be IT specialists.”