Professor Ransford Gyampo, a political scientist, believes Ghanaians should be cautious in their demand for the resignation of two board members of the Electoral Commission’s board said to be affiliated with the governing New Patriotic Party.
His remarks follow recent demands by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) for Dr. Peter Appiahene and Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani to step down from their position at the Electoral Commission.
Dr. Peter Appiahene is said to be a patron of the Tertiary Students Confederacy (TESCON), implying that his allegiance is with the ruling government.
Others have questioned the Commission’s independence in the aftermath of this appointment.
Professor Gyampo told Citi News that the two are unlikely to resign because that culture is not accepted in Ghana.
“If you call for the resignation of a typical Ghanaian public servant, you will merely be romancing a spoon because the culture of resignation is not ingrained in our psyche unless one is pushed to resign.”
He also stated that some stakeholders are concerned about interference in institutions that are supposed to function as independent bodies.
“People will look at the legitimacy and independence of the commission with some trepidation and when that happens, they are pushed with aggression and defence at all times and see everything that the commission does as wrong even when the Commission means well. We cannot allow this to go on in perpetuity. The EC itself requires institutional peace to be able to carry out its activities else election management will suffer.”
Dr Appiahene and Ahmed Tijani were appointed by President Akufo-Addo to the board of the Electoral Commission in March 2023.
The appointment of the two has courted controversy over their political affiliation with the ruling NPP.
The appointments were in line with Article 43 (1 and 2) of the 1992 constitution which states that “there shall be an Electoral Commission which shall consist of a Chairman, two Deputy Chairmen, and four other members.”
The Electoral Commission is one of the governance institutions provided under the 1992 constitution.
It was established by the Electoral Commission Act (Act 451) of 1992 and set up purposely to manage the conduct of all public elections and Referenda, to handle all matters directly related to the conduct of elections in the country.