General News of Tuesday, 25 July 2017
Ghana’s democracy has suffered a major jolt following the ongoing fracas among some commissioners of the Electoral Commission, an official of the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) has stated.
Prof. Baffour Agyemang-Duah, who is a member of the governing board of the CDD, is alarmed over allegations and counter allegations at the Election Management Body as three commissioners cross swords in leaked statements.
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) is investigating some top officials of the EC including deputy chairs Mrs. Opoku Amankwaa and Amadu Sulley at the behest of the chairperson of the EC Mrs. Charlotte Osei. Details emanating from the investigations have sullied the image of the electoral body as political watchers call on them to step aside pending the outcome of the probe.
Speaking on the ongoing row, Prof. Agyemang-Duah, stressed the EC as the mainstay of Ghana’s democracy must not be allowed to sink.
“I will describe this as a tragedy for our democratic process,” Prof. Agyemang-Duah told Morning Starr host Francis Abban on Tuesday.
Looking at how the allegations hinge on personal attacks, Prof. Agyemang-Duah wondered: “I don’t know whether the damage can be repaired.”
“It’s simply irreparable,” he resolved.
He advised that “we need to stop these officials from their public warfare” because the successes Ghana has chalked over the years as the most successful democracy in Africa when it comes to changing governments “are being badly damaged.”
Meanwhile, the Ghana Integrity Initiative – the local chapter of Transparency – has called on the Presidency to immediately intervene and investigate allegations and counter allegations being flung by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and her deputy commissioners to save the deteriorating image of the country’s election management body.
The Chairperson of the EC, Charlotte Osei in a response to a petition demanding her removal by some staff of the EC, accused her two deputies of corruption and arrogance.
Mrs. Amankwaa, one of her deputy commissioners responded to the claims by her boss by justifying some decisions taken without recourse to due process.
But in a statement, the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) said government through the relevant state agencies must take swift action to ensure that appropriate and thorough investigations are conducted into these matters.
According to GII, “this is the only way to halt any further degeneration of the integrity of the Commission and restore public confidence in the organisation.”