“Beyond the office of the President, which is lucratively the highest power base in this country, the Electoral Commission is perhaps the next most powerful, and the one more likely to plunge this county into the abyss of darkness if it places its constitutional independence over and above rudimentary commonsense and reason.”
Could the writers of our Constitution be blamed for the partisan controversy and confusing harangues that have come to characterize the compilation of the voter’s register every election year? Is there any chance for entertaining such a conversation even theoretically at all?
For, I was beginning to nurse and groom the thought that the drafters of our Constitution should be roasted and eaten for making it so easy for political parties to tamper with the voter’s register at the flimsiest excuse or political discomfort. If the writers of the Constitution had cast the parameters for compiling a new voter’s register in iron stone, beyond the sole determination of the Electoral Commission and the convenience of the party in government, our election security could have been better frame-worked, I think.
Conversely, by conferring such critical national security decision solely on the Electoral Commission, our election architecture could be rendered unsafe or insecure by a weak or biased Commission without strong political balls to withstand strategic pressure from the appointing authority or the funding agency.
Consider the current scenario. President Akufo Addo fires beautiful Charlotte Osei upon coming into office. The NPP, while in opposition had been officially disgruntled with the former EC Chair for her management of the affairs of the Commission which they interpreted as biased in favor of the NDC. They made no secret of their intention to remove her from office if they won the elections. Now the new EC boss, Jean Mensah has been most aggressively painted with the NPP colors, head to foot by the NDC. She was grossly unpopular with the NDC from conception and I would be least surprised if the NDC found occasion to destool her if they win the 2020 Elections.
So uncharitably have we bastardized the Electoral Commission and buried it six feet in raw partisanship that nothing the Commission does is legitimate or righteous anymore. The “no nonsense” security of the Afari Djan tenure (which supervised the elections that won power for both parties interchangeably) has been torn into shreds and supplanted most rapaciously by suspicions, demonstrations, vilifications, disparagements, more and more confusion. And of course, the “I will do it whether you like it or not” posture adopted by the Jean Mensah led Commission is not only becoming unpopular with many independents, but it is proving to be the last straw that is readying itself to break the camel’s back!
So then here is a question to ask: Is the independence of the Electoral Commission established or articulated only when the Commission disagrees with everybody else except itself and the government in power? We experienced it in the previous regime, when the NDC became the official spokesperson for the EC. The party communicators jumped from one radio show to the next defending decisions of the Commission and making several political postulations and analyses that drew the Commission into more political quagmire and chipped away its independence in bits and pieces.
And just as before, the same thing is happening now with somewhat added intensity. The NPP myrmidons are all over the place, self-elect in their vigorous defense and baby-sitting of the EC. They have bravely defended the EC, its commissions, omissions, blunders, intentions, time table, warts and all! Nothing The EC does is reproachable or liable to the NPP!
Beyond the office of the President, which is lucratively the highest power base in this country, the Electoral Commission is perhaps the next most powerful, and the one more likely to plunge this county into the abyss of darkness if it places its constitutional independence over and above rudimentary commonsense and reason.
If you go to court and discover that the judge, the complainant, and defendant are all deaf, how is the law supposed to be construed and interpreted? We have made some remarkable progress over the years, but all is not well with our political fundamentals. The independence of the Electoral Commission would amount to nothing if it exists only to supervise the erosion of our electoral freedoms!