Jean Mensa talks like a politician; her comments on weak structures regrettable-NDC

Director of Elections for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has taken the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs. Jean Mensa, over her claims that she took a weak electoral body.

Speaking to Kwabena Agyapong on Rainbow Radio 87/5Fm, he said the EC boss is talking like a politician on the political campaign platform.

At a meeting with President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House, the EC boss indicated her leadership, the corporate governance structure of the Electoral Commission has undergone some strategic reforms thus improving the entity’s operations.

She informed the president the previous EC lacked a structured governance framework in its operations; saying she inherited an outfit in a weak state.

“We inherited a very weak institution. It is an institution that is not founded on rules, administrative policy. It does not have a governance framework and so we came to the office and found out that we do not have a single policy to guide procurement, HR, administration.”

“Nothing exists so, in a nutshell, the Commission has existed as some sort of an election machine and over the years we have spent a lot of effort trying to plug the loopholes to the best of our knowledge and to the best of our ability so it runs as a free for all institution till date.”

She added that the weakest link of the Commission was the IT department that could not run elections for just two individuals.

“I would like to turn our attention to some of the work we have done in the area of our IT. It was the weakest link of our operations and we came to discover a 55 member department that could not run an election for two people.”

But reacting to the comments by the EC boss, Mr. Ankrah said the comments lacked common sense and logical reasoning.

She wondered why the EC boss could make such comments when the electoral body has undergone serious reforms under previous heads such as Afari Gyan and Charlotte Osei.

In his view, Mrs. Mensa cannot compare herself to the exploits of Afari Gyan and Charlotte Osei who have been acclaimed globally for their activities at the EC.

“This is common sense. The comments by the EC boss made look like a politician on a political campaign platform. What is she talking about? She claims the EC that has come through reforms under Afari Gyan and Charlotte Osei, was weak! That is strange and unfortunate. We should not just what she has said but we have to interrogate it and examine the issues she has raised.”

He added “even with the so-called the poor structures at the EC, it has been able to conduct seven peaceful general elections. What is the primary duty and mandate of the Electoral Commission? As part of their mandate, their duty is to provide credible voters’ register and put in place systems and mechanisms for that to happen. As far as Ghanaians know, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, consistently, we have had successful elections. With both major parties, There has been a transition of power. As we go along, we have improved upon our systems. First, we had opaque ballot boxes. It was changed to transparent. Secondly, we were using ID cards without photos, it was changed to photo ID cards.

“Thirdly, we had a situation where results were declared at collation centers, they introduced through IPAC results being declared at the various polling stations. Consistently there has been an improvement in the entire electoral process which is the primary mandate. You see that our system has become the envy of the world. People from all over Africa come to study our system. We keep improving upon it through IPAC,” Afriyie Ankrah insisted.

By: Rashid Obodai Provencal

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