Ahead of December 2020’s Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Ghana, a member of the opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC, Dr Michael Kpessa Whyte charged the Independent Electoral Commission, EC, to end its apparent tilt towards underhandedness in the processes.
The former Policy Advisor in the Office of the President of the Republic of Ghana with a dual responsibility as the Executive Director of the Ghana National Service Scheme(NSS) accused the Jean Mensa led Commission of working with the New Patriotic Party, NPP, to “muddle up and manipulate the electoral processes” to favour the ruling party.
Dr Michael Whyte Kpessa has appealed to the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission( EC) Ms Jean Mensa to ensure transparency and good governance by making public recommendations from consultants to the effect that there is the need for a new voters’ register public, alleging that the chairperson’s actions and inactions seem to lend credence to suggestions that she was put there to ensure President Akufo-Addo wins a second term.
“A recent US State Department Report (2018) suggests that you and your colleagues were appointed to the EC to guarantee an Akufo-Addo second term. I don’t know what you make of this claim, but it speaks volumes about your credibility and trustworthiness.
Unfortunately, your utterances and the general posturing of the EC including decisions around transfer and reassignment of existing staff in your outfit appears to give credence to the claim. I am worried for your legacy following the remarkable performance of your two predecessors,” Dr Whyte Kpessa wrote in an open letter to Ms Jean Mensa.
Dr Whyte Kpessa spoke about Ms Mensa’s tenure at think-tank, Institute of Economic Affairs(IEA) where she consistently called for accountability and transparency from governments and state institutions, wondering whether her work as head of the IEA was just about politics of convenience and not about principled positions.
“I have followed your work at Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) where you persistently demanded accountability and transparency from governments and state institutions. To that extent, this request is following in the line of your quest for transparency except that this time round you are the one to honour to call.
I hope you will not leave the nation with the impression that your work at IEA was more about politics of convenience rather promoting principled positions. Already there is a sense emanating from your utterances and posturing which displays intolerance, condescension, and dismissiveness in contrast to the fine principles you espoused at IEA. I will appreciate a comment on whether you still believe in Jean Mensa’s IEA,” he maintained.
Dr Whyte Kpessa suggested to Ms Mensa to seek to carry the country along in her work as head of the EC and not seek to dictate to Ghanaians, insisting that it is important citizens get to properly understand the reasons why the EC wants to compile a new voters register given that the current register has been used in three major elections.
The decision by the EC to compile a voters’ register has been met with criticism and demonstrations especially from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). Some civil society organizations have also said the reasons advanced for the compilation of a new register are not convincing.