Appointment of NPP activist to EC board dangerous for our democracy – Alex Segbefia
Director of the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) International Relations Directorate, Alexander Segbefia, says President Akufo-Addo’s appointment of a known New Patriotic Party activist to the Electoral Commission’s board is dangerous for the country’s democracy.
On Monday, President Akufo-Addo swore in Dr. Peter Appiahene, Salima Ahmed Tijani and Rev Akua Ofori Boateng as new members of the commission.
Pictures and videos have since gone viral alleging in particular that Dr. Peter Appiahene is a popular activist of the NPP and has been engaged in TESCON activities at the University of Energy and Natural Resources.
Speaking on the issue on JoyNews’ PM Express, Alex Segbefia noted that taking into consideration the referee role the EC plays in Ghana’s elections, it is unfortunate to have a well-known partisan activist sitting on the board.
He said Dr. Appiahene’s past would henceforth colour every utterance or decision he makes while on the board, further casting doubts on the activities of the EC which has in recent times been embroiled in several scuffles with the main opposition party.
“It is clear that in a situation like this, it’s imperative that partisan colours for certain positions in this country should not be or cannot be overtly shown to have been demonstrated in the past because it means that on every decision that person is involved in, it will be scrutinised 10, 15, 20 times more than it should be, because there is already a fear and a belief that that person doesn’t approach it in a fair manner or a neutral position.
“And that, whether right or wrong is the perception that is created, by allowing somebody who is clearly very overtly partisan but is coming into a position of a referee to actually hold such an office. I think it’s so obvious that I don’t know why it keeps being done.
“It has the ability to threaten our very democracy, elections in Africa are some of the most tense periods in the democratic dispensation of countries and any step that you take that is going to heighten that tension is not advisable within the African context,” he said.
Meanwhile, former President John Mahama commenting on the issue at the launch of his JM 2024 Campaign fundraising app at UPSA, stated that to prevent anymore of such political appointments onto the EC board, he would amend Article 43(2) to provide for parliamentary approval for new commissioners.
“Of course, the appointments of known party activists onto the Electoral Commission by our current President may require an amendment of Article 43(2), to provide for parliamentary approval of new Commissioners to the Commission. Let me assure you once again, I remain committed to these reforms,” he assured.
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