Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye, a former Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, has called for a review of the appointment of the Electoral Commission Chairperson.
According to him, the appointment of the chairperson by each sitting President in accordance with the constitution has always created difficulties, especially between the two competing political parties.
According to 3news.com, he believes that the EC chair should be elected by commission members whose decisions are independent of any outside influences.
“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, the EC boss is appointed for a fixed term of six years, as was recently the case in Nigeria. “So that after doing a specific 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,” he is quoted by 3news.com as saying.
Mr. Oquaye also stated that the proposed selection process will help to promote a peaceful political environment while also protecting the EC’s independence.
“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, his nomination is approved as well. “All of these, I believe, should be investigated if we are to have a peaceful political terrain,” he stated.
The President of Ghana has the constitutional authority to appoint the chair of the EC.
While the framers of the Constitution imposed various levels of restrictions on the President’s appointment power for democratic, governmental, prudential, and even historical reasons, the President retains both consultative and approval powers.
Article 70(2) of the Constitution requires the President to select the Chairman/Chairwoman and members of the Electoral Commission based on the advice of the Council of State.
“On the advice of the Council of State, the President shall appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairmen, and other members of the Electoral Commission,” the constitution states.
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