June 14, 2024

Jean Mensa, Chairman Ghana's Electoral Commission

US-Based Ghanaian law Professor, Kwaku Asare has warned that the Electoral Commissioner Jean Mensa may be setting herself up for a possible impeachment for the clumsy situation for the people of the yet-to-be-created constituency in the Guan District of Oti Region where they were allowed to vote in the presidential elections but were denied the opportunity to vote for a parliamentary candidate.

The Electoral Commission announced that following the creation of the Guan District in the Oti Region recently, people in this area will only be able to take part in the presidential election because the Electoral Commission (EC) will only create the Guan Constituency several days after the general elections.

“First, Guan has not voted yet (NVY) but must vote before January 7, unless the EC wants to take away their voice in the opening of the 8th Parliament. Such an omission is unprecedented and may very well be an impeachable offense since it is a willful violation of the Constitution that strikes at the heart of representation,” Professor Kwaku Asare warned.

Jean Mensa has been a disaster with the general elections she organised on December 7, 2020. First of all, she messed up her declaration of the reported winner of the presidential race, incumbent Nana Akufo Addo. The EC claimed she had inadvertently made a mistake by claiming Akufo Addo scored some 51% of total valid votes of 13.43 million.

A day after her controversial declaration, the EC issued a statement containing an entirely different set of results for the Presidential elections. Since then, the EC has constantly tweaked the results of the elections despite the fact that counting and collation had ended long ago. The EC has changed the results it declared by more than five times, on both its website and from statements made officially.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described the EC boss’ posture in the electoral process as “fraudulent”. The antics with the Guan constituency is seen as one of the faux pas that has dogged the EC throughout the build-up to the elections.

Meanwhile, if the Guan Constituency comes on stream, Ghana’s Parliament will be tied at an even number and that could create a lot of hair-raising situations in the august House in times of voting on national issues, experts have noted.

It is most likely that the opposition NDC may win that seat, being its political stronghold and also giving the fact that the NDC swept all the available eight seats in the Oti Region.

The two main political parties: the NDC and the NPP has 137 Parliamentarians apiece, with one hovering independent candidate. Professor Asare believes that the Guan Constituency is likely to be the kingmaker in who becomes the next Speaker of Parliament.

“Lastly, even though much has been made about the EC’s arithmetical errors, the Guan error may be its biggest headache. It must marshal all resources to hold that election before January 7 or go down in permanent infamy,” Professor Asare wrote on his social media handle.

“The lesson here is inescapable. There is no room for violating the Constitution and when it is violated, we must say so intensely and immediately. Violations always come back to bite us,” he said.

 

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