The Electoral Commission is capable of operating on its own without a substantive chairperson or a commissioner, Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Kojo Asante has said.
According to Mr Asante, the constitution that established the commission makes it possible for it to operate without a commissioner.
The comment comes in the wake of the removal of the EC chairperson Charlotte Osei and her two deputies – Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwaah – by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Their dismissal was after the Committee set up by the Chief Justice, Justice Sophia Akuffo, pursuant to Article 146(4) of the Constitution, to investigate separate complaints brought against the three persons by Ghanaian citizens, recommended their removal from office.
The Committee recommended their removal on the basis of stated misbehavior and incompetence, pursuant to Article 146(1) of the Constitution.
Speaking in an interview, Mr. Asante said the image of the commission has been bruised as a result of the development.
“There is a lot that has to be done to restore confidence in the EC after what has happened. The EC was in a very difficult place after the 2012 elections. It took a while for the EC to restore confidence again and as we speak, it has dipped again. Article 44(6) of the constitution looks at what happens in the case of death or absence of the Commissioner. The Commission can operate in the absence or death of the Commissioner. The operational part of the EC has to go on despite the dismissal,” he said.
Meanwhile, a private citizen, Fafali Nyonator, has sued the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Gloria Akuffo to the Supreme Court over the removal of Charlotte Osei.
The action of Ms. Nyonator, according to the writ filed at the Supreme Court Tuesday, is among other things seeking a “declaration that the determination by Her Ladyship the Chief Justice of a prima facie case pursuant to Article 146 of the Constitution for the removal of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission is inconsistent with Article 130(a) of the Constitution as by the said determination Her Ladyship the Chief Justice usurped the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to construe and/or define the scope of application of the provisions of the Constitution, particularly Articles 44(2) and 146 thereof.”
By: Joseph Nii Ankrah.