Former Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye wants the appointment process for the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) reviewed.
He wants a fixed term of 6 years for the Chairperson of the elections management body.
Speaking in an interview with TV3’s Alfred Ocansey on Monday, January 9, the former lawmaker for Dome-Kwabenya indicated that the appointments of the EC have always been met with opposition from the two main political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) depending on which party is in power as of the time of the appointment.
Giving a solution to this challenge, he told Ocansey that “Every Electoral Commission chairperson, duly appointed by the President in accordance with the constitution, has always brought difficulties from the two competing political parties. If we know of other alternatives, can we suggest them so we can have our peace? In some countries, for example, the competing political parties themselves elect one person each to the commission members.
“The Commission members being quite independent, not elected by the president or anyone, will then choose a chairperson, so that the work of the commission is collegial and collectives, then they are satisfied.
“In some places, you will find the situation whereby the EC boss is for a fixed term, 6 years, it recently happened in Nigeria. So after doing a particular work, you go, so that in choosing the EC boss it is usually a retired Professor or a Professor about to retire, a judge who is just part of the system, and then you do that work for 6 years, and then you leave.
“In other words, there is no end to wisdom with regards to what we have got now, nomination by the President and then ultimate approval by Parliament. Of course, if the president has a Majority in Parliament, then the approval is as well as his nomination. All these I believe should be examined if we should have a peaceful political terrain, that is what I have been saying.”