Reconsider appointment of 2 EC Commissioners - CSOs appeal to President
Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to reconsider the appointment of two of the three new commissioners of the Electoral Commission (EC) for stakeholders to have confidence in the 2024 general election.
Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani and Dr Peter Appiahene were alleged to be known sympathisers of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the time of their appointment in March this year.
The CSOs said even if the appointments were legally right, they were ethically wrong and could create doubts about the final results even if they were correct.
The Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD-Ghana), Star Ghana Foundation, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) and the Media Foundation for West Africa said appointing politically exposed persons to such sensitive positions was dangerous for the country's democracy.
The discussion, organised by the CDD-Ghana, was under the broad topic: "CSOs assessment of election-related activities in 2023 and their implications for the 2024 general election".
It brought together representatives from the various political parties including the NPP, the National Democratic Congress and the People’s National Convention
Speaking at the forum, the Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement of CDD-Ghana, Dr Kojo Pumpuni Asante, indicated that partisan appointments had a direct impact on public trust in the EC.
He reckoned that under the new dispensation of Ghana's two-term rule by a political party, going into an election at the end of the eighth year of a political party was difficult and almost made the party in power vulnerable.
Dr Asante emphasised that the dynamics made the elections contentious.
He appealed to the two commissioners to resign.
The opposition National Democratic Congress petitioned the Council of State on the matter but the council said the President did not flout any processes in appointing them.
Dr Asante said public perception of a tainted EC was a recipe for disaster, and called for an urgent action.
The Executive Director of the GII, Mary Addah, urged the public, spearheaded by the media, to take up the challenge to save the country "because what is happening to other countries" over electoral disputes should not happen to Ghana.
She said Ghanaians must not lose sight of the fact that next year's elections could be tough against the backdrop of what was currently happening, including the limited registration exercise, and that "nothing should be done to aggravate the already perceived tension".
The Head of programmes of Star Ghana Foundation, Eunice Rachael Agbanyedzi, called for a sense of ownership of the electoral process among the public.
On March 20, 2023, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo swore in Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani, Dr Peter Appiahene and Rev. Akua Ofori Boateng as new commissioners of the EC.
However, three CSOs, including CODEO, called on Hajia Tijani and Dr Appiahene to resign honourably due to their perceived affiliation to the governing NPP.