The Member of Parliament (MP) for Juaboso Kwabena Minta Akandor has described the nomination of the Executive Director of the Institute for Economic Affairs as “disappointing” and “scary”.
Jean Mensa was nominated by President Akufo-Addo on July 19 as the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC).
She is to replace Charlotte Osei who was removed with her two deputies – Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwah – by the President following recommendations by a committee set up by the Chief Justice to probe a petition against them.
Mrs. Osei reportedly breached procurement laws in the award of several contracts, prior to the 2016 elections.
A statement announcing the nominations of Mrs. Mensah and three others dated July 19 and signed by the Chief of Staff Frema Opare said the President after seeking the advice of the Council of State in accordance with Article 70(2) of the constitution nominated Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensah — Chairperson, Mr. Samuel Tettey — Deputy Chairperson,. Dr. Eric Asare Bossman — Deputy Chairperson, Ms. Adwoa Asuama Abrefa — Member of the Commission.
According to the letter, the “President Akufo-Addo is hopeful that the Council of State will discharge its constitutional duty expeditiously, to enable him to make these critical appointments to this very important institution of State.”
Reacting to the news of the nominations in an interview with Starr News Ibrahim Alhassan, the Juaboso MP said the actions of the president could jeopardize the peace of the country more so when a citizen is challenging the removal of Mrs. Osei in the country’s apex court.
“I am very disappointed and scared for Ghana. I am really scared. The democracy that we have all contributed to, I think the president is sending us back in terms of years, that he could have that courage to go ahead and fire not less than three people from the Electoral Commission and irrespective of whatever everybody is saying in the country, go ahead and appoint new members to the Commission. I understand that the issue is in court at the moment.
“What happens if at the end of the day they were wrongly fired and they have to go back and take their positions? Or is it the case that the president is preempting the outcome of the court? Is it the case that the president is going to have a hand in adjudicating the matter? These are legitimate questions we all have to ask ourselves. I thought that the President would have thread cautiously so that probably if the matter at the end of the day is determined in court then he can go ahead and do whatever that he is doing,” bemoaned the Juaboso legislator.
On his part, the MP for Sagnarigu A.B.A Fuseini added: “… When you say on behalf of the minority, we’re very appalled about this announcement that the president is making left, right and Centre. If it is not for an ulterior and also of the motive of wanting to pack the electoral commission with sympathizers of the NPP in order for them to rig the 2020 elections for the NPP government, It is also an act of…. lawlessness.”
“This matter is pending before a competent court of jurisdiction. Some citizens have gone and sought an injunction, restraining him from making an appointment. And he’s going ahead to make an appointment when the matter has not been resolved. And he says he’s an adherent of the rule of law. How can an adherent of the rule of law treat the law with such level of contempt? Such contempt by the president of the republic. How can the president of the republic be acting so lawlessly? It is incredible. So it tells us that there’s a very sinister motive behind this appointment that this government is making. And we think that this thing should not go on unchallenged,” he stated.