EC ignores calls to scrap ‘tainted’ Steering Committee

The Electoral Commission (EC) has rubbished calls by major political parties and election observers to dissolve its 18-member Steering Committee.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP), People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) are demanding the immediate dissolution of the committee set up by the EC to help steer the conduct of the November 7 polls.

Pro-NPP Pressure group, Let My Vote Count Alliance Tuesday issued a statement saying the EC’s Steering Committee was tainted because some members of the committee were known members of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The group cited the Deputy Director of International Relations of the NDC, Dr. Karl Mark Arhin who was a member of the Committee to back its claims.

Wednesday, a Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, George Lawson confirmed Dr. Arhin was a member of the NDC but insisted the governing party had no hand his being appointed to the Steering Committee of the EC.

He revealed that the man had been withdrawn by the National Service Scheme (NSS), which nominated him as its representative on the committee.

Since this revelation, other parties have joined the fray and demanded the dissolution of the committee since it could not be trusted to be an impartial body.

But the EC says the calls have no basis.
“The Commission has no knowledge of any member being a member of a political party. The EC wrote to the institutions to give us one person to represent them on the Committee”, said Public Affairs Director of the EC, Christian Owusu-Parry.

He said the selection was purely based on the choice of the institution thus the EC has no reason to doubt the integrity or know the political leanings of the selected persons.

Speaking to Joy FM’s Kwakye Afreh-Nuamah, Owusu-Parry said the concerns are without merit.

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) is the latest to back calls for the committee to be disbanded.

Kwabena Abrampah Mensah, a member of CODEO says the EC constituting another committee apart from the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) will only create more controversy.

Owusu-Parry says although the Commission will consult the parties on all “key issues”, the EC will not go to political parties for approval on all decisions.

“A lot of things are done administratively. These are administrative decisions the Commission is empowered by the Constitution to take,” he added.

A member of the governing NDC, Dr. Karl Arhin, stepped aside from a Steering Committee yesterday, but Parry say EC doesn’t have any official communication to the effect.


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