EC New Chair Is Affiliated To The NDC - Gabby

Former Director of the Danquah Institute Gabby Asare Otchere Darko has said the new chair of the Electoral Commission is "affiliated to the ruling party."

Speaking on Joy FM's news analysis programme Newsfile, Saturday, the New Patriotic Party member said he knows Charlotte Osei personally and has no doubt in his mind the successor to Afari Gyan has political leanings to the governing National Democratic Congress.

"I am saying that for a fact," Otchere Darko insisted after a deep sweep of murmur from panelists on the show.

Her affiliation notwithstanding, the lawyer said "it is a wonderful opportunity for [Charlotte Osei] to show what she can do."

"I will not prejudge her based on her history with the NDC. We should judge her based on the remit of professionalism, fairness," he added.

The president in accordance with Article 70 (2) of the constitution appointed Mrs Charlotte Osei Thursday as new chair of the Electoral Commission. She takes over from Dr Afari Gyan who went on retirement after supervising six elections.

Charlotte Osei, until her appointment was head of the National Commission of Civic Education.

The appointment has seen some criticisms from some quarters given the fact that there is a case pending at the Supreme Court seeking interpretation on who must appoint the EC Chair.

The petition led by a journalist Richard Skyy is occasioned by the seeming contradictions in the constitution on what to do or who to appoint chairpersons of some constitutional bodies.

Article 70 (2) says: “The President shall, acting on the advice of the Council of State, appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, and other members of the Electoral Commission.”

Article 91(3) of the same Constitution says, “The Council of State may, upon request or on its own initiative, consider and make recommendations on any matter being considered or dealt with by the President, a Minister of State, Parliament or any other authority established by this constitution except that the President, Minister of State, Parliament or other authority shall not be required to act in accordance with any recommendation made by the Council of State under this clause.”

While some argue that the president should make the appointment on the advice of the Council of State, others also hold the view that the Council of State must initiate the process of appointment of the EC chair.

The case is presently before the Supreme Court with ruling set for next month.

Prior to the ruling, however the presidency announced the appointment of Charlotte Osei, a move some believe was to preempt the case before the Supreme Court.

Discussing the matter on Newsfile, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko would rather the president had waited for the Supreme Court to rule on the matter before making the appointment.

He said with the president himself contesting an election there is always a natural proclivity to want to appoint a person closer to the party.

He was worried that the appointment process was not transparent enough but was ready to give the appointee the benefit of the doubt.

Inusah Fuseini MP for Tamale Central however touted the credentials of Charlotte Osei.

He was convinced the new appointee would be able to hold her own in an office known to be a hot seat.

He added that Afari Gyan during his appointment in 1992 was said to be a member of the NDC but endeared himself to everybody till he retired. 

He had no doubt Charlotte Osei will do same.