The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has raised concerns over the appointment of three new Electoral Commission (EC) Board members by President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday 20th March.
The three appointees are Dr. Peter Appiahene, Rev. Akua Ofori Boateng, and Salima Ahmed Tijani.
Member of Parliament for Buem Constituency and former national organizer of the NDC, Kofi Adams has accused the President of deliberately packing various state institutions with members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Speaking on Citi FM’s ‘Point Blank’ program hosted by Umaru Sanda on Tuesday 21st March, Mr. Adams said: “The appointments made by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the Electoral Commission of Ghana have been largely problematic. This administration has politicized the Commission to a degree that has never been seen before, from the removal of Madam Charlotte Osei and her colleagues, to the appointment of Jean Mensa [EC Chairperson] and others, and the recent additions. This has threatened the independence of the institution, which has been held in high regard by the other Presidents who have served this country."
He added, “They are dissatisfied with the party apparatus they have established at the Jubilee House and wish to extend it to all state institutions, including those that are constitutionally expected to remain non-partisan and impartial. From Jean Mensah, who is known to be supportive of the NPP, to Dr. Bossman, the vice-chair of the commission and a former member of TESCON, it is evident that their bias against the NDC is a direct result of their desire to weaken the NDC in order to strengthen the NPP.”
Mr. Adams cited the appointment of Dr. Peter Appiahene as another example of the President’s attempts to influence the outcome of the upcoming elections by appointing NPP members to positions of influence, claiming that he is a known member of the NPP.
“The appointment of another TESCON/NPP member [Dr. Peter Appiahene] onto the Board of members of the EC is a clear indication of the President’s intention to manipulate the electoral process in the country”, he observed.
“We are not saying that the three persons appointed are not qualified, but we are worried that the President is deliberately packing institutions with his party faithful”, the former national organizer of the NDC explained.
Mr. Adams further added: “The Council of State members who are supposed to be advising the President on such appointments have failed this country and must bow their heads in shame. They have allowed such persons with such backgrounds to be passed to be members of an institution such as the EC. The Council of State is failing us. They must not sit and wait for things to happen before they attempt to rally around to be engaging other stakeholders”.
He urged the President to desist from packing the EC with NPP supporters and to instead ensure that the Commission is made up of individuals who are impartial and will not be swayed by partisan politics.
Mr. Adams further called on civil society organizations, political parties, and other stakeholders to join the NDC in condemning the President’s move and ensuring that the electoral process is conducted in a free and fair manner.