CODEO calls for resignation of 2 Electoral Commission board members over political affiliations
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has urged Dr Peter Appiahene and Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani to resign from their positions on the board of Ghana's Electoral Commission.
The appointments of Dr Appiahene and Hajia Tijani, made by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in March 2023, have sparked some controversy in some political circles due to their alleged political ties with the governing New Patriotic Party.
Dr Appiahene for instance has been linked to the students wing of the NPP - TESCON - with the allegation that he was once a patron of TESCON in the Bono Region.
For Hajia Tijani, it is not very clear how her association is with the NPP except that some have said she has family members who have close ties with the NPP.
Speaking at a press conference today (April 5, 2023) in Accra, Rev. Dr Fred Deegbe, a leading member of CODEO, called for the pair's resignation to safeguard the cross-party trust in the commission.
The appointments were made in accordance with Article 43 (1 and 2) of the 1992 constitution, which stipulates the composition of the Electoral Commission.
“We are painfully aware that voluntary and constitutionally grounded revocation of these unfortunate and democratically problematic EC appointments by the President is extremely unlikely," Dr Deegbe said.
"However, nothing stops the affected appointees, namely Dr Peter Appiahene and Hajia Salima Tijani from voluntarily and honourably resigning from the EC.
“This will be in the supreme interest of our country’s continued democratic progress, election peace and credibility and indeed overall national interest.”
Established by the Electoral Commission Act (Act 451) of 1992, the commission oversees the management of all public elections and referenda in Ghana.
It will be recalled that Kofi Adams, the NDC Member of Parliament for Buem, had claimed that Dr Appiahene was an NPP activist and a former patron of TESCON, a university wing of the party.
They replaced Mrs. Hajia Sa-Adatu Maida, Mr Ebenezer Aggrey-Fynn and Mrs. Rebecca Kabukie Adjalo who retired from their posts.
The trio joined Mrs. Jean Mensa as Chairperson, Mr. Samuel Tettey as Deputy Chairman for Operations, Dr. Bossman Eric Asare, Deputy Chairman for Corporate and Ms. Adwoa Asuama Abrefa as Commissioner on the seven-member EC Board.