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Editorial | Mar 8, 2019

Good Tidings From EC

By Daily Guide
Jean Mensa – Chairperson of EC
Jean Mensa – Chairperson of EC

We were not used to hearing soothing remarks from the Electoral Commission (EC) under the previous order. We cannot remember ever doing so. The immediate past, brief but momentous tenure of Charlotte Osei was telling. Her period at the helm posted the worst story in the annals of election management in the country.

Of course, we cannot shower plaudits upon an EC whose Chairperson and her commissioners washed their dirty linen in public even as they pulled a cloak of secrecy over their operations.

It was with such relish therefore when during the swearing-in of an Audit Committee for the Commission last Tuesday, the lady at the helm, Jean Mensa, assured the nation that she and her commissioners would manage the public funds which go into managing elections in conformity with procurement standards.

The name EC in previous times was synonymous with hubris, abuse of the legendary independence of the Commission and breaches of procurement cannons.

As the midwife who births governments through an electoral process, the EC, of course, must enjoy a mammoth level of independence to ensure acceptable outcomes of its work. That is why the management of this institution of state must be in the hands of persons of impeccable pedigree who would not abuse the independence bestowed upon them by the Constitution.

We are dealing with a lady with a track record. Having dealt with political groupings on both sides of the aisle during her headship of the Institute Of Economic Affairs (IEA), integrity has always been her hallmark.

With a whiff of freshness and hope originating from the tenure of the new crop of Ghanaians at the throttles of the EC, we can state without apprehension of contradiction that Eureka!

We have indeed found it. It is our hope that as the EC Chairperson promised, the nation's procurement procedures would be upheld for the good of the country, especially, with the quality of persons bestowed with the auditing assignment: it is the most glaring evidence yet of the new EC's resolve to engage in world acclaimed best practices.

There cannot be a substitute to transparency in the running of the EC – the previous managements having left us with nothing to be boastful about in terms of quality and enviable accountability mechanisms.

Little wonder the EC in those days shared the similar negative tag festooned around the necks of bad politicians – their unenviable governance style pushing the country to the brink.

With a promise of the removal of the cloak of secrecy, the presence of which in previous times made it impossible to even peep into what was the dark world of the EC, we are elated and justifiably so.

It is also encouraging to learn that the EC would be mindful of the blemishes which dogged the previous administration in the form of financial scandals and procurement breaches.

Never again should the EC be a subject of public scorn and derision as witnessed in the recent past. If an EC is to win public trust, it must exude a sense of integrity and transparency; of course, devoid of hubris.

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