Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei, has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2017 Chatham House Prize, to be awarded by the Royal Institute of International Affairs of the U.K.
According to the Director of Chatham House, Dr. Robin Niblett CMG, the nomination of Mrs. Osei was based on her admirable supervision of Ghana’s peaceful and transparent electoral process in December 2016.
“The recent election consolidated Ghana’s 24-year long democratic trajectory and was norm setting for Africa, the Commonwealth and beyond; your tireless efforts throughout 2016 were central to this success,” Chatham House said.
Mrs. Osei is the only female and African to be nominated for the 2017 Prize.
Ghanaians heaped praises on the EC boss for the near-perfect organistion of the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
Polls opened and closed across the country on time in what has been described largely as a successful exercise.
Machines deployed for the biometric verification of voters worked to perfection and in cases where they were faulty, there were back-ups to ensure a smooth operation.
Issues of voters not finding their names drastically reduced as compared to previous elections while voters without ID cards were verified through their thumbprints as well as their pictures.
Also, the smart decision to split polling stations ensured a smooth voting process while instant social media updates from the EC prevented false rumours from festering.
Doubts were raised over Mrs Osei’s competence when she was appointed to head the EC following the exit of hugely successful Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan who was in the post for more than a decade.
Other nominees to the Prize are Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia, for formally ratifying a peace agreement with the FARC rebel group and bringing an end to the war in Colombia; Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, shortlisted for steering NATO through one of the most complicated periods in its recent history.
Past recipients of the Chatham House Prize includes former President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor and former President of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano.
Also, the former President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese Democracy Campaigner and Leader of the National League for Democracy have also been honoured with an award from Chatham.
Other recipients are former US Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential candidate in last November’s US elections, Mrs. Hillary Clinton; and former US Secretary of State Mr. John Kerry.
The final winner of the award will be announced at the end of April, 2017.