The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has tasked the government to protect the integrity of the Electoral Commission (EC) in its quest for new Commissioners.
It said in view of the partisan discussions that has already ensued following the removal, CODEO strongly recommends to the appointing authorities – the President and the Council of State – not to restrict themselves to the minimum constitutional provisions for appointing leadership to constitutional bodies, such as the Electoral Commission.
CODEO wants a broad-based consultative approach, involving multiple stakeholders, including civil society, in the search and subsequent appointment of new officeholders.
It said an inclusive and consultative process is in line with good governance practice and necessary to instill confidence among stakeholders in the next set of leadership of the Commission and foster national cohesion.
A statement issued in Accra yesterday said “In addition to the requirements under Article 44 of the 1992 constitution, we recommend the following additional criteria for consideration by the appointing authorities: Nonpartisanship and impartiality, proven integrity, team player Independent mindedness, rich experience and professional maturity”
It added “CODEO acknowledges that the President’s action in removing the three officers of the Commission- Mrs Charlotte Osei, and her two deputies, Mr. Amadu Sulley and Mrs. Georgina Opoku Amankwah, is in accordance with the process prescribed by Article 146 of the Constitution.”
In the interest of transparency and accountability, the statement noted that CODEO calls on the President and the Chief Justice to make available the full report of Chief Justice’s Committee.
“With the constitutional process regarding the petitions now concluded, CODEO respectfully entreats all Ghanaians and stakeholders, particularly political parties, to refrain from actions or public utterances likely to inject partisan politics and other improper considerations into this outcome”
CODEO hopes that the constitutional resolution of the petitions brought against the members of the Commission would lead to the strengthening of the Commission and make it better able to deliver on its mandate of organizing free, fair and credible elections in Ghana.
CODEO further hopes that the publication of the Committee’s full report will inform the review and reform of the EC’s future operations.
Public and multi-stakeholder confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Electoral Commission is a necessary condition for the continued development and progress of Ghana’s democratic and electoral politics. It is CODEO’s hope that all parties involved will be guided by this fundamental understanding as we work collectively to inject renewed confidence and reconstitute our Electoral Commission.