Source: kasapafmonline.com - Some Members of Parliament have started discussing a proposal to amend the 1992 Constitution to give power to the legislature to sanction any individual nominated by the President to serve as the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana.
The proposal comes in the wake of the appointment of Mrs. Charlotte Osei as the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana by the President.
Her selection, according to her appointing authority was based on the constitution of Ghana.
Article 70(2) of the 1992 Constitution stipulates that “The President shall, acting on the advice of the Council of State, appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairmen, and other members of the Electoral Commission.”
However, a cross-section of the public have questioned the President for hurriedly going ahead to appoint Mrs. Charlotte Osei as Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan’s replacement bearing in mind that the process of appointing the EC boss was before the Supreme Court for interpretation.
Some Members of Parliament who are equally not enthused about the President’s action said in interview with Kasapafmonline.com that it is only a constitutional amendment that can change the process.
MP for Bimbilla and Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Dominic Nitiwul said the approval of a future EC boss by parliament will dispel any rumor and disenchantment by the people.
“If you want to have an EC who the President appoints and that is it and parliament does not have the opportunity to vet the person to look at the background of the person to see whether the person is qualified or does not qualify, it is a dangerous thing. I believe that the framers of the constitution didn’t look at that article very well. I thought that the first person who should have been vetted and should even have two-thirds of the majority should rather be the Chairman of the Electoral Commission.”
“We’ve missed an opportunity by the way our constitutional provision went … I don’t know if that process will still go on the way we have had it. It looks like it is a botched thing. Anytime we have an opportunity to amend the constitution, it should be one of the things to look at.”
He added “I believe that we should be very stringent in our criteria we use to select our EC chairman – 1. The person should pass through a lot of rigorous processes beginning with consultation with political actors, then the Council of State, then the president nominates and I believe that Parliament should vet the person with two-thirds of the majority agreeing on the person. I believe that will help us.”
MP for North Dayi, George Loh, commenting on the issue welcomed the proposal for parliamentary approval of any future EC boss nominated by the President.
“I believe that thing should be looked at. If anything can happen, then it will be subject to a constitutional review so that the constitution will be reviewed to enable parliament vet the EC boss. I think that it is not out of place. It will be a good exercise for Ghanaians to have confidence in their constitutional leaders – those who are mandated by the constitution to act. If we deepen the process, I think that it is not out of place.”
MP for Kpandai, Matthew Nyindam also commenting on the matter said “We represent the people and for that matter if somebody is coming to head a department like the Electoral Commission, it is prudent the person comes to parliament – to vet the person, get to know the person very well, let the person tell us what he or she has in stock for the country and I think that it is in the right direction. That is why I support that person should be given parliamentary approval.”
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