July 21, 2017
The National Peace Council has called for urgent dialogue to resolve the impasse that has engulfed the Electoral Commission (EC), in which a section of staff are calling for the impeachment of the EC chairperson, Mrs Charlotte Osei.
Rev. Prof Emmanuel Asante, Chairman of the Council believes that it is only by committing to dialogue that the grievances by the staff and the EC boss could be addressed, saying the tension should not be allowed to escalate.
“If it is possible for them they should use arbitration to address this internal problem they have.
“I have had the privilege to read what they [EC staff] have written, and what she has also written in defence. I will caution that for the good of this country, we need an Electoral Commission that is united therefore no matter what the problems are they must find ways and means of addressing these kinds of issues,” Rev Prof Asante said.
A group calling itself concerned staff of EC has petitioned President Akufo-Addo, through a counsel, to remove Mrs. Osei, alleging among other things that she single-handedly renegotiated contracts to the tune of almost $22 million without recourse to the Public Procurement Act.
The petition also claims that the EC Chair’s posturing during last year’s general election almost plunged the entire country into instability.
But in an uncompromising response, Mrs Osei has also threatened the faceless staff with a defamation suit through her own lawyer, Thaddeus Sory.
Thaddeus Sory has therefore written to Maxwell Opoku Agyemang, lawyer for the petitioners, demanding that he presents the names and identities of the workers of the EC so that legal action will be taken against them, failing which he the lawyer will be named as the defendant.
However, Peace Council Chairman is calling for calm, indicating that the tension at the Commission could escalate to destructive levels, which could affect the independence of the EC.
“I will think that the authorities that be will use their good offices to put in place an arbitration team to sit and listen to both sides,” said Rev. Prof Asante.
By ADR Daily Newsdesk