The Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt has waded into the raging debate over the appointment of the new Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, while the Supreme Court rules on the appointment process.
President John Dramani Mahama in accordance with Article 70(2) of the 1992 Constitution, appointed Mrs. Charlotte Osei as the new Chairperson on Friday.
A renowned constitutional lawyer, Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare has for instance in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, challenged the appointment, arguing that the process leading to her selection “lacked transparency and verifiability.”
“I have said before that prudence requires transparency and verifiability in the appointment of the EC members, especially the Chair” he stressed.
The lawyer further argued that the process clearly contravened Article 70(2) of the 1992 constitution, adding that in respect of his appointment under the law the President should have sought the advice of the Council of State.
Speaking on Radio Gold on Saturday, he said: “I am very surprised that these suggestions are being put by persons who describe themselves as lawyers… How somebody can think that this is the violation of the constitution is amazing.”
He questioned the basis for the claims that the President failed to act on the advice of the Council of State, saying; “Where in this appointment , or what in this appointment suggest that the President did not act on advice of the President of State. I think there is a general consensus that the President must act on the advice of the State and he has done that so where is the issue.”
He pointed out that the President cannot even be sued over her appointment even if he acted against the laws.
“Indeed if he acted against the laws, he suffers impeachment. He is not dragged to court to face criminal charges.”
On their part, the New Patriotic Party called on the EC Chairperson to address the unresolved challenges left by her predecessor, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan.
“We hope she will contribute immensely to the development of our democratic dispensation and it’s growth, by helping to resolve the many challenges she is inheriting from Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, her predecessor,” the NPP said in a statement signed by its chairman, Paul Afoko.