The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency, Emmanuel Agyarko, has likened the posture of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei, to a headmistress of a primary school.
He made the comment while sharing his thoughts on the disqualification of 12 presidential aspirants on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue.
According to Mr. Agyarko, the EC overstepped its boundaries when it disqualified the aspirants due to errors on their nomination forms.
Mr. Agyarko believes the EC in a bid to be seen as an enforcer rather than a facilitator, has appeared too confrontational in recent times, and is taking unreasonable decisions that might subsequently dent the image of the Commission.
Citing the Abu Ramadan case and the Commission’s decision to spend over GHC 300 million on the conduct of District Assembly Elections, Mr. Agyarko intimated that, the EC’s decisions do not leave what he calls a ‘good impression for a public agency.’
“The Commission has appeared as being too confrontational. There are three or four cases that have either been taken to court or gone to court themselves and all of them have turned against them. There was this thing with District Assembly elections, it was not 21 days yet, the CI had not matured and they decided to go ahead. You begin to wonder, how will a public agency do this in the process. This country lost over 300 million cedis in the process.Then there was this Abu Ramadan thing. It was so strange that they will go court, the apex court made a pronouncement two years ago; but their interpretation of the matter was so weird, It doesn’t leave a very good impression for a public agency”
“I would want to liken it to a regulator of a sort. My understanding of a public service, specifically when you have to determine things like this is that; you must be a facilitator rather than an enforcer. It appears to me, that the Electoral Commission wants to be seen as an enforcer. If you are a regulator, the essence is to bring people into compliance; but the posture they have taken is that, we will deal with you, we will not permit you. I have heard the Chairperson say that ‘…You want to be a President of this country and you cannot even fill a form.I think the Electoral Commission is overstepping its bounds.”
Mr. Agyarko therefore advised the EC to “create space for democratic expression and help participants to come into compliance rather than acting as a headmistress of a primary school.”