June 26, 2015

Lawyer and Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin says President John Mahama’s appointment of Mrs. Charlotte Kesson Smith Osei as Chair of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana is an affront to the Supreme court and undermines the apex court of the land.

According to him, the selection of Mrs. Osei, who takes over from Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan becoming the first woman to hold the position since independence in 1957, at a time that the issue is pending before the Supreme Court is an unfortunate action to come from the President.

A Ghanaian citizen, Richard Dela Sky has filed a writ at the Supreme Court asking the court to interpret provisions of the 1992 Constitution on the appointment of an Electoral Commissioner.

Article 70 (2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana says, “The President shall, acting on the advice of the Council of State, appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, and other members of the Electoral Commission.”

Article 91(3) of the same Constitution says, “The Council of State may, upon request or on its own initiative, consider and make recommendations on any matter being considered or dealt with by the President, a Minister of State, Parliament or any other authority established by this constitution except that the President, Minister of State, Parliament or other authority shall not be required to act in accordance with any recommendation made by the Council of State under this clause.”

The writ follows numerous calls from the Minority and other stakeholders for the President to consult widely before appointing a new Chairman for the Commission.

Speaking on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem show Friday, Hon. Afenyo Markin who is also the counsel for the petitioner (Richard Sky) states that he feels disappointed as a Ghanaian since the President has disrespected the Supreme Court.

“I think the President could have held on to this appointment until the Supreme Court decides this matter, I find it difficult to understand the rush in his action. If you remember what the Supreme Court said in the Abu Ramadan case, about the issue of when a matter is pending before it, it is clear that the President has grossly slighted the court” he said.

Hon. Afenyo Markin emphasizes the need for the rule of law to be upheld by all including the President as the further development of the country’s democracy is being pursued.

Kwadwo Anim/GhanaMPs.gov.gh