Former President John Mahama has said he finds something amiss with the 21-member Emile Short-led Eminent Advisory Committee inaugurated by the Electoral Commission recently.
In an engagement with the Christian Council on Tuesday, 10 December 2019, the flag bearer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), said: “The same voice of moral society that we count on when things are going bad are the same people they put on the Eminent Persons Advisory Council”.
“How could you be part of the Electoral Commission, advising it, and at the same time when issues arise that are emotive from the decision of the Electoral Commission, come back and be the ones to resolve the issues?” Mr Mahama wondered.
“I think that it is better our Christian Council and eminent people sit aside and then when we have a problem, then we come to them,” he suggested.
The 21-member committee chaired by the former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and assisted by Mrs Gifty Affenyi Dadzie, a former President of the Ghana Journalists Association, has members such as Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, Archbishop Palmer-Buckle, Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Dr Rose Mensah Kutin, Dr Yaw Baah and Maulvi Mohammed Bin Sali.
The other members are Most Reverend Emmanuel Asante, Mr Affail Monney, Nana Ato Dadzie, Mr Sam Okudjeto, Mr Tony Forson, Mrs Freda Duplan, Nana Kobina Nketsia V and Rev Dr Cyril Fayose.
The rest are Rev Dr Opuni Frimpong, Rev Ekua Ofori Boateng, Rev Prof Emmanuel Martey, Rev Dr Paul Frimpong Manso, Rev Paul Kwabena Boafo and Sheikh Nuhu Sharabutu.
It was inaugurated on 3 December 2019 and is part of the EC’s new approach of enhancing engagement between the Commission and the Society as the nation prepares for the 2020 General Elections.
“Our reasoning, therefore, was that having a body of persons that can be trusted by the society to rise above partisan political sentiments to bridge communication between the Commission and the society would help to preserve peace and stability each time we have national elections,” the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa, said.
The EC Chair said the major rationale for the committee’s establishment was to demystify the Commission and prove its independence.
The committee, she stated, will serve as a window between the Commission and the public, stating that while the committee will serve to inform the public on the workings of the Commission, the committee members will also relay concerns from various members of the public to the Commission.
Former President Jerry John Rawlings recently described the establishment of the committee as a wise decision that will help to remove the suspicions people have about the Commission.
Describing the committee members as people we must take pride in, the former President said the last commission suffered suspicions because it was appointed by the government in power and expressed the hope that the formation of the Advisory Committee will help to remove doubts from people’s minds about the independence of the election management body.
Mr Rawlings spoke at the launch of the committee at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra and commended the Chairman of the Peace Council and member of the committee, Most Reverend Emmanuel Asante, for helping to ease tensions when the presidential election results delayed in 2016.