The Member of Parliament for Tamale North Constituency in the Northern Region, Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini, says the impeachment process against the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) and two other commissioners is a threat to Ghana’s democracy.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP is, therefore, calling on civil society organizations, the international community, the Christian Council of Ghana, National Peace Council, and other well-meaning Ghanaians who have the interest of Ghana at heart to rise up against such move to remove the EC boss.
The Chair of the EC, Charlotte Osei, has requested President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to furnish her with a copy of the petition seeking her removal from office for alleged breaches. This comes on the back of some unnamed staff of the Commission petitioning the president in July to remove her over alleged abuse of office, causing financial loss to the state and breaches of Ghana’s procurement laws. The petition was then forwarded to the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, to establish a prima facie case to determine whether impeachment proceedings could commence against the EC chair.
These have been done and the process of impeachment began on Monday. But commenting on the issue on TV3’s New Day hosted by Bright Nana Amfoh on Tuesday, the Tamale North MP said “it is a very, very serious threat to our democracy because in 2018, if we are to believe what the President said, even though we have few examples in 2017, we will have serious activities by the EC”.
He said “there will be a referendum to create new regions, there is an election of MMDCEs in 2018, District Assemblies Elections in 2019 and then the 2020 elections”.
“You are talking about EC preparing for all these, but it is now battling for survival of identity which is a serious threat to our democracy and that is why civil society, well meaning Ghanaians, international communities, who are in for democracy to take the move seriously,” the MP explained. “The NPP believed she didn’t deserve the appointment.
They thought she was appointed to declare the NDC victorious and that is why every move by the government should be calculated because of the earlier pronouncements against this woman. “There is a reason why [a petition] goes to the President, so that the President becomes the gate keeper. So that he decides what to do. There is a very good reason why the petition should go to the President even though the constitution is clear that the President does not determine the matter,” the MP explained. But a colleague MP, Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer of Sekondi Constituency, said the government does not have any interest in the case against the EC boss.
“If the government had any interest, I would say she should be transferred because she was transferred from one office to the EC boss,” he said. On the request by the EC boss for the President to furnish her with the petition, Mr. Egyapa Mercer said “she will be entitled to all the documentation on the petition to enable her to respond.
She is entitled to the petition but going to the President for a copy of the petition is what I find strange. His only duty is to forward that petition to the Chief Justice. So if you need any copy go to the Chief Justice or the committee and not the President.”
The NPP MP said, “they should go in the natural justice principles enshrined in the constitution and she should make the representation with the committee for the documentation”.