Jean Mensah: The EC Chair Doing the Bidding of Akufo-Addo

By Kuti
Opinion Jean Mensah: The EC Chair Doing the Bidding of Akufo-Addo
SEP 15, 2023 LISTEN

In Ghanaian politics, the Electoral Commission (EC) plays a vital role in ensuring free and fair elections. As the current EC Chair, Jean Mensah wields significant influence over the electoral process. However, concerns have been raised regarding her alleged biased actions, sparking debates about whether she is indeed impartial or merely acting in favor of President Nana Akufo-Addo. This article critically analyzes whetherJean Mensah is genuinely executing her duties with impartiality or succumbing to external pressure.

One of the primary arguments suggesting that Jean Mensah is carrying out Akufo-Addo's bidding is the manner in which she unilaterally introduced new electoral policies and guidelines. Some critics contend that these sudden changes, such as the exclusion of the voter identification card as a valid form of identification and the creation of a new voter registration system, were made to favor Akufo-Addo's New Patriotic Party (NPP). The lack of sufficient justifications for these moves raises questions about the motivations behind them, leading to suspicions of political interference.

Furthermore, Mensah's alleged close ties to the ruling NPP have also contributed to the perception that she is acting in favor of Akufo-Addo. Critics argue that her appointment was politically motivated, as she was a member of a think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), with well-known affiliations to the NPP. While Jean Mensah's professional background should not automatically render her biased, it does raise concerns about her ability to remain impartial and make unbiased decisions as the EC Chair.

Another point of contention is Jean Mensah's conduct during the 2020 general election. Her refusal to accept the concerns raised by opposition parties regarding alleged irregularities and the credibility of the results further fuels suspicions of her partiality. Instead of transparently addressing these issues, Jean Mensah displayed a defensive stance, diminishing confidence in the EC's unbiased approach. Such actions lead critics to conclude that she may be inclined to favor the incumbent president.

However, it is essential to consider the counterarguments and view Jean Mensah's actions from an alternative perspective. Supporters of the EC Chair argue that the changes she introduced were necessary to modernize the electoral process and ensure its integrity. They argue that the exclusion of the voter identification card aimed to prevent potential fraud, especially given concerns about the acquisition and use of fake cards. It is crucial to weigh these justifications against the allegations of political bias in order to form an informed opinion.

Additionally, critics accusing Mensah of being loyal to Akufo-Addo fail to consider her professional track record. Prior to her appointment, she served as the Executive Director of the IEA, an organization known for promoting good governance and fairness in elections. This background suggests her commitment to upholding democratic principles, which could counter the assertions that she is merely doing the bidding of the president. It is therefore important to recognize her efforts to ensure transparent and credible elections throughout her career.

In light of the evidence and plausible arguments presented, it is challenging to make a definitive judgment about whether Jean Mensah, as the EC Chair, is genuinely impartial or favoring President Akufo-Addo. While some of her actions and affiliations raise concerns about potential bias, others argue that her decisions are guided by her commitment to improving the electoral system. It is imperative for Ghanaians to remain vigilant, holding the EC accountable and demanding transparency to safeguard democracy and ensure fair elections in 2024.

By kuti