Poll C’tee: NPC Misinformed EC

The Acting Director of Public Affairs of the Electoral Commission (EC), Christian Owusu Parry, has refuted allegations that the commission did not write any official letter to the National Peace Council for representation on the 18-member steering committee the EC has set up.

According to him, the commission officially requested for a representative from the council through a formal letter dated 11 November, 2015. He said the letter specifically requested the council to nominate a member to serve on the committee, which was recently inaugurated to oversee the November 7 elections.

A Graphic report on Thursday, 18 February 2016, quoted the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Most Rev. Prof Emmanuel Kwaku Asante of making comments on Neat FM to the effect that the Council was not officially asked to nominate a representative and that there has not been any official communication to that effect.

“The last time the board met, there was no letter before us from the Electoral Commission asking us to nominate someone… As far as I am concerned as chairman, there is no such letter,” Prof Asante said.

But Mr Parry, in an interview with Ekow Mensah-Shalders on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Friday February 19, indicated that every institution that has a representative on the committee, including the Peace Council, had an official correspondence to that effect. He said the Council responded through a letter dated 19 November 2015.

“Yesterday, we heard reports from the media that the chairman of the National Peace Council had alleged that the commission did not write to the Peace Council. Indeed, we wrote to the Peace Council on the 11th of November, 2015 and got a response from the Peace Council in a letter dated 19 November 2015. So, probably, the chairman didn’t have all the facts before he spoke to the media.”

According to the report, the chairman of the National Peace Council indicated that the council only heard about the appointment of Mr Francis Azumiah, the Executive Secretary of the Peace Council, in the media, and congratulated him, but as far as they were concerned, the appointment was in his personal capacity.

Mr Azumiah’s role on the committee has been questioned due to reports accusing him of having affiliations to the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC). He is also alleged to have participated in parliamentary elections on the ticket of the party in Builsa North.

However, the EC, Mr Parry emphasised, did not make any individual appointments, but rather each institution on the committee designated a representative.

“The commission was not the body that selected the representatives for the organisations. It is the institutions themselves that selected their own representatives,” Mr Parry underscored.

One member of the committee representing the National Service Scheme (NSS), Dr Karl Mark Arhin, withdrew his membership following claims that he was a member of the NDC.

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