Former President Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings has said it is because the commissioners at the Electoral Commission (EC) are appointed by the government that is why their work is always viewed with suspicion by those in opposition. He said, however, that the current EC headed by Jean Mensa appears to be doing something different in order to clear that suspicion and as a result urged the public to support the formation of Advisory Committee of Eminent Personalities.
Speaking at the launch of the committee yesterday, the former President said, “Actually, they (commissioners) are appointed by government so there is the tendency that people along the way in opposition would want to view them with suspicion and I think that is what must have happened to the last commission and that is why I am saying that I guess when they didn’t know what to do, the country didn’t know who to look up to any more, then this man (Peace Council Chairman Rev Prof. Emmanuel Asante) came out and gave some sense of satisfaction to all of us.”
“I hope this commission would not suffer the same fate and I think precisely because of that putting together this body is one of the wisest things that could have happened so we don’t end up blaming the commission for whatever decision it makes,” he added. Former CHRAJ boss Justice Francis Emile Short is acting as chairperson of the committee while Gifty Afenyi Dadzie, a former president of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), acts as the Deputy Chair person.
Other members include Most Reverend Emmanuel Asante of the National Peace Council; Dr. Yaw Baah, TUC Secretary General; Rev. Paul Kwabena Boafo, presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana and Archbishop Palmer Buckle who is the Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast.
Also, Rev. Ekua Buabema Ofori-Boateng, a mechanical engineer; Nana Ato Dadzie, a former Chief of Staff; Rev. Dr. Cyril G. K. Frimpong, General Secretary of the Christian Council; Anthony Forson, National President of the Ghana Bar Association; Rev. Dr. Paul Opuni Frimpong, a Presbyterian minister, Maulvi Mohammed Bin Salih, Ameer of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community; Arch Bishop Nicholas Duncan Williams, President of the National Charismatic Christian Churches; Rev. Dr. Paul Frimpong Manso, Head of the Pentecostal Council of Ghana and Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey, who was a Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana.
The rest are Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin, a gender advocate; Mr. Affail Monney, President of the GJA; Nana Kobina Nketia V, Omanhen of Esikado Traditional Area; Eric Oduro Osae, lawyer; Mr. Sam Okudzeto, Member of the Council of State and Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, National Chief Imam of Ghana. EC Boss Jean Mensa said the move was to demystify its operations and enhance its image as an open and responsive organization by institutionalizing its dialogue with key stakeholders through the setting up of the 21-member advisory committee.
She said the “Committee of Eminent Persons”, which has membership drawn from various circles of the Ghanaian society, is to act as a standing body that would confer with the EC on its activities and also help in decision-making by providing advice and feedback based on genuine concerns and aspirations of Ghanaians.