General News of Thursday, 14 June 2018
The National Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC) party, Mr Bernard Mornah, has blamed the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) as the originators of the current woes of the Electoral Commission (EC) and its inability to execute its mandate.
He alleged that the deliberate and unsubstantiated name calling, castigations and allegations of wrongdoing levelled against the EC Chairperson, Mrs Charlotte Osei, and the commission, prior to the 2016 election, had led to the present problems facing the commission.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in a telephone interview in Accra on Wednesday, Mr Mornah was of the strong opinion that the commission members should be allowed to work in order not to stall the work and create constitutional challenges in the years ahead, adding that the problems of the three personalities must not be allowed to affect the work of the EC.
Touching on allegations levelled against the EC and its chairperson, Mr Mornah said the country was reaping the benefits of vile propaganda perpetuated by the NPP against the EC, culminating in the current sorry state of affairs at the commission and its inability to execute its mandate.
He expressed fear that these challenges, which were taking forever to resolve, had stalled almost all the activities of the commission, especially meetings of Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) and, timetable of the commission for the period prior to the 2020 elections, among others.
A petition for impeachment of the EC Chairperson from one Dauglas Seidu to the President was referred to the Chief Justice as prescribed by law on August 29, 2017.
Days later, the Presidency confirmed that it had received another petition and subsequently referred same invoking provisions of Article 143 (3) of the 1992 Constitution in respect of the office of two Deputy Chairpersons of the commission; Mrs Georgina Opoku-Amankwa, who is in charge of Corporate Services and Alhaji Amadu Sulley, in charge of Operations.
Explaining further, Mr Mornah said prior to and immediately after her appointment, the NPP plus its cohort organisations, including Let My Vote Count, mounted ceaseless allegations that Mrs Osei, though a lawyer of high repute, was appointed to deliberately rig the 2016 election in favour of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) which was then in power.
Mr Mornah added that surprisingly, the same EC, headed by Mr Osei which the NPP bastardised, was able to conduct the 2016 elections which saw the NPP presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, elected as the President, and asked if the NPP still stood by their claim of a bloated register.
He said allegations, including claims that the EC had connived with a political party and bloated the electoral register portrayed the commission in bad light, making it very easy for some persons to petition the President for investigations to commence on the commission members.
Mr Mornah indicated that he was not bothered that the commission members were not on talking terms because that was even a good sign that they could not connive and execute anything sinister that could be disadvantageous to some political parties; however, what they required was talking terms.
He explained that just as in political parties, such as the PNC, NPP and the NDC, a lot of the executive members were not on “talking terms” with each other but were in “working terms” and able to run the machines of the parties effectively, same could be good for the commission.