Former President John Dramani Mahama is courting the support of chiefs in Ghana as part of efforts by the opposition National Democratic Congress to demand electoral reforms.
The opposition NDC and its 2020 presidential candidate, Mahama, have put pressure on the Electoral Commission to adopt the party’s proposal for electoral reforms to make GHanaian elections more free, fair and transparent in the country.
Addressing chiefs in the Eastern Region as part of his ‘thank you tour,’ John Mahama called on traditional leaders to speak up and call for electoral reforms.
Mr. Mahama added that the EC hasn’t reviewed the last election to even come up with proposals to correct some of the anomalies that were witnessed in the polls.
“It is our hope that the National House of Chiefs and the Regional House of Chiefs will join voices with us so that we have an independent view of the proposals that have been brought. Because, in most cases, after an election, the Electoral Commission takes steps to set up a panel to look at some of the issues that went wrong and come up with proposals for making sure we correct them. We expect that this Electoral Commission will do same,” he said.
The party among other things proposed that the appointment of Commissioners of the Electoral Commission should be subjected to parliamentary approval.
The NDC insists the current mode of appointing Chairpersons of the electoral management body and its members appears partisan, arguing that representatives of the people must have a hand in the appointment.
It further justifies the proposal by saying, the EC’s critical requirements include independence, neutrality, credibility, and transparency, and competence, hence making appointments of EC top officials without parliamentary approval may tamper with these core values.
“Chairperson of EC as Returning Officer of the presidential election must not be solely appointed by the President, who is often a candidate.”