Ghana Politics

Allow public servants contest for political office without having to resign – EU EOM

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The European Union Election Observer Mission for the 2020 polls has recommended that the country allows all public servants to stand for office without having to resign.

This was contained in the EU EOM’s final report on the 2020 elections in Ghana.

According to the Observer Mission, the fact that all members of almost all parts of the extended public service must resign before registering as candidates, unduly limits the right to stand.

The report stated that where there are actual reasonable grounds for some of these positions to be incompatible with a mandate in parliament or as president, this would not have to preclude eligibility.

“Rather, a high-ranking member of the public service could, e.g., be required to leave the service once elected,” stated the report.

Public servants are not allowed to contest for political office until they resign from their position for fear of misusing public resources for their campaigns.

However, the EU said the misuse of public resources in a campaign can be prevented by respective laws and their enforcement, without infringing on the right to stand.

The European Mission stated that the incumbent Members of Parliament and political appointees like ministers and district chief executives are not public servants but will have more state resources and incumbent power at their disposal than the average public servant.

Therefore, “allow all public servants to stand for office without having to resign. If tenure of specific positions is considered incompatible with elected office, public servants could be required to leave the service or take a leave of absence once elected.”

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