We will oppose ‘encroachment’ on Charlotte Osei’s turf – Minority

General News of Thursday, 20 July 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

2017-07-20

Haruna IddrissudddMinority leader, Haruna Iddrisu

The Minority in Parliament says it will mobilise and oppose any attempt to remove Charlotte Osei as the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.

The NDC MPs said they will not allow the government to continue terrorising Ghanaians who do not share in the ideology of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Speaking at a news conference in Accra Thursday, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu cautioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to desist from any plan to replace the EC Chairperson.

The President has received a petition submitted to him by a group of disgruntled EC workers seeking the impeachment of the Chairperson, the Flagstaff House has confirmed.

In the 27-bulleted document intercepted by Joy News, the workers raised some allegations of misbehaviour, mismanagement and breach of law against Mrs Osei.

In one such instance, the workers claimed: “Mrs Charlotte Osei unilaterally awarded a contract of about $25,000 to a South African company, Quazar Limited to change and re-develop the Commission’s Logo under the guise of rebranding without going through tender contrary to the Public Procurement Act.”

The workers also claimed: “The Chairperson has submitted an estimate of over GHS1 million for the renovation of the official bungalow for the Chairperson without recourse to the Commission or the appropriate staff in the Commission.”

As happened in the case of the dismissal of former CHRAJ boss, Vivian Lauretta Lamptey, a petition against the head of a Constitutional body such as the EC, will first have to be submitted to the President.

The president is required by the Constitution to forward it to the head of the Judiciary, Chief Justice (CJ) who shall conduct a preliminary investigation into the allegations raised.

If a prima facie case is established in the matter, the CJ will institute a full-scale investigation into the allegations.

The Flagstaff House has confirmed President Akufo-Addo has a copy of the petition and he is studying it.

But the Minority said it has grounds to believe persons in government are behind the petitioners.

“We will not accept the undue politicisation of the civil and public service of Ghana,” Mr Iddrisu said.

He said any attempt to remove Mrs Osei will undermine the “integrity and independence” of the electoral body.

“We have seen it happen where civil and public servants have been dismissed because they do not share the ideology of the NPP,” he added.

But Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin described as “reckless and baseless” the Minority leader’s comment.

He told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story the President has no interest in who occupies the EC Chair position.

“The President won the election with Charlotte Osei in the seat fair and square, so what will be his motivation for getting her out?” Mr Arhin asked.

“Everything we have done from day one has been done in accordance with the rule of law and knowing the kind of democrat the President is, he will not contravene the Constitution of Ghana,” he added.

He believes a press conference organized by the NDC was a “ploy to distract” the government from its good works.

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