Flagbearer of the United Front Party, Akwasi Addai Odike has said the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Adukwei Mensa is repeating the mistakes of her predecessor, Charlotte Osei.
Just like Charlotte Osei refused to listen to the advice given her by members of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) whenever she wants to make a decision, Jean Mensa, Mr Odike observes is threading on similar lines by doing whatever she wants with regards to the compilation of the new voters register and ignoring the advice of political party leaders.
His comments come after the EC, in an IPAC meeting on Wednesday, announced that it will go ahead with the compilation of a new voters register late June despite stiff opposition to the idea by some political parties.
Speaking on UTV on Wednesday, Mr Odike alleged that the Electoral Commission is only doing the bidding of the governing party instead of giving a fair hearing to all political parties.
“The same mistakes Charlotte Osei did when she was the EC boss are the same mistakes Jean Mensa is repeating. I said it and my reason for saying that is that Jean Mensa is doing the bidding of the NPP instead of other political parties because she was appointed by Akufo-Addo.
“Charlotte Osei never listened to our advice when she was EC Chair. She did whatever she wanted to do without considering our opinions and that is what Jean Mensa is trying to do,” he said in the interview monitored by ABC News.
According to the UFP flagbearer, many activities embarked on by the EC since the assumption of office gives support to his claim that the Commissioner is only focused on listening to the Government which appointed her into office.
Key among such activities, he said, is the withdrawal of December 17, 2019, referendum which sought to amend of Article 55 (3) of the Constitution to enable political parties to sponsor candidates during local level elections as well as the EC’s decision to use Ghana Card and Passport for the compilation of the new register contrary to their initial position.
He asserts the inconsistencies of the EC is making it difficult for people to have faith in the work of the Commission and likely to cause a rejection of the 2020 polls.
“First and foremost, if you remember when we went for the referendum it was the sitting government that proposed that we have a referendum and elect our DCEs and MCEs and Assembly members of partisan line and the President wanted all of us to say yes to make that happen….but I made so much noise that we should vote no and eventually the President said it was withdrawn it. Then an independent EC which has been given money, printed ballot papers and done notice of polls, before we knew it, the EC says it has withdrawn the referendum because the President said it should be withdrawn
“Secondly, the EC said it was going to compile new voters register for the election 2020, Immediately, the sitting Government endorsed that idea that compiling a new register was part of their manifesto and I made them understand that the EC does not have the mandate to identify who is a Ghanaian and who is not, that power resides with the NIA now and I advised them to let the NIA finish the compilation of the Ghana card so they can use it for the new card…This woman told me she cannot use the Ghana card for voters’ register compilation unless we are heading to the 2024 elections so I kept quiet. Before long, this same EC Chair proposed that we use the Ghana card and passport for the compilation of the new register and I was wondering why these inconsistencies, today you say this and the next day it’s another. You want us to have asked us to have faith in you but as a referee who is leading us in this match we do not really trust you,” he said.
Adding, “The EC shouldn’t rush into the elections, if it means we should postpone the election, we can let the lawyers help us with that procedure so the EC won’t be forced and the results of the elections. What is sad is that during elections we have election observers from other countries, now the whole world is not in normal times so I’m not sure anyone will come if invited, secondly, political parties have a way of holding rallies, with large numbers of people, if we go ahead, we will all get the coronavirus.”