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15 September 2013

NPP wants IPAC views considered in EC appointments.

The main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has written to the Council of State, to take into consideration, the concerns of the various political parties when advising the president on who to appoint as Chairman and Commissioners of the Electoral Commission (EC).
The letter, signed by Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey and copied to the Council as well as the president, said: “Ghana would be helped if the Council were to formalise and institutionalise a process to act upon the advice of, amongst others, IPAC when advising H.E. the President on who should serve on the E.C”.

Below is the full letter

Re: THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION AS A NEUTRAL REFEREE.

A bad referee spoils a good match and in a high stakes political contest can cause bloodshed. The majority of the Judges in the recent Presidential Election Petition at the Supreme Court found in one area or another, misrepresentations, omissions and malpractices. We thank God for the good sense of the Ghanaian that our country did not follow the example of other countries and seek to rectify grievances through violence.

The 1992 constitution gives to His Excellency the President, acting on the advice of the Council of State, the power to appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairmen and members of the Electoral Commission.

In the past these powers have been exercised without any consultation with the political parties.

Given that the Council of State is unfortunately perceived by members of the opposition and many other citizens, as being an adjunct of the executive, Ghana would be helped if the Council were to formalise and institutionalise a process to act upon the advice of amongst others, IPAC when advising H.E. the President on who should serve on the E.C.

This decision and action would not need an amendment to the constitution and would be very much in line with the spirit of article 144(3) on the appointment of Appeal and High Court Judges on the advice of the Judicial Council, who are those most knowledgeable about their colleagues, as the political parties may be presumed to be knowledgeable on political players.

This matter is urgent in view of the expected retirement in the near future of the Chairman of the E.C.

We therefore urge you and the Council to please give this matter your most careful consideration and bring the issue into the realm of light, transparency and shared ownership.

With all assurances etc etc.

I am, yours faithfully,

Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey NATIONAL CHAIRMAN

cc: H.E. The President of Ghana H.E. The Vice-President of Ghana Rt. Hon. Speaker Her Ladyship, The Chief Justice H.E. President J.J. Rawlings H.E. President J.A.Kufuor Chairpersons IPAC member parties. Chairman and Deputy Chairpersons E.C. Peace Council Centre for Democratic Development, Ghana Institute of Democratic Governance, Ghana The Media

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