Welcome, EC chair and deputies

BY: Daily Graphic
New Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa
New Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa

At long last a new Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa, has been sworn into office, along with two deputies — Mr Samuel Tettey and Dr Eric Asare Bossman.

Also sworn in by the President was Ms Adwoa Asuama Abrefa, who replaces a member of the commission who has retired from active service.

The period leading to the appointment of the new members, especially the chairperson, saw the expression of disagreements and reservations by a section of the public. That was expected because of the important but dicey role the EC plays towards the success or otherwise of our democratic dispensation and, consequently, the socio-economic development of the country.

As the new chairperson and her deputies take office, the Daily Graphic implores them to deal with the reservations that some political parties have about their appointment. We are of the view that this can be done when they exhibit fairness in their dealings with stakeholders in elections. The commissioners, especially the chairperson, should not do anything that would suggest that they favour one party over others.

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The chairperson has the responsibility, as the leader of the electoral body, to build good working relationships and camaraderie with her deputies. After all, one need not be friends with others to be able to work with them. We need a new EC with an image that suggests professionalism because of the experiences of the recent past.

The commissioners should be mindful of the fact that apart from working for the country, the tasks they perform are to their own credit and enhancement of their CVs and this is what should guide them in the discharge of their duties.

Leadership is about the ability or the action to lead or mobilise followers to achieve organisational goals. The EC exists to conduct free, fair and credible elections,
among other functions. To do this effectively, the commissioners must exhibit honesty in their work. They may commit errors along the way, but the mark of a good leader is to learn from his/her mistakes and continually work at strengthening the weaknesses.

A cursory look at the background of the new EC Chairperson and her deputies shows that they are highly qualified individuals. But we know that in making the appointments the President did not consider only their academic and professional credentials but also other qualities that are equally vital to the success of their work. Ghanaians want to see in the new EC boss and her lieutenants the ability to effectively delegate responsibilities and the preparedness and capability to communicate their vision to the other members of staff of the commission to motivate them for the tasks ahead.

The new leadership should also inspire confidence in the staff of the commission, the political parties, development partners and the generality of voters and citizens, and they can do this best if they exhibit fair knowledge of the workings of the commission.

We acknowledge that they are professionals in their various fields, but no two organisations are the same. It is incumbent on them, therefore, to be humble and learn fast on the job and become conversant with the organisational culture of the EC to assure Ghanaians that elections, a pillar of our democracy, are in safe hands.

As we welcome the new EC leadership to office, we wish to remind them of the tough assignment ahead, such as the District Assembly Elections, the referendum on the creation of new regions and the next general election.

The Daily Graphic is confident that the new leadership will succeed. Welcome, Madam Chairperson and your new commissioners.