Former President Jerry John Rawlings has described the establishment of an Eminent Advisory Committee by the Electoral Commission as a wise decision that will help to remove the suspicions people have about the Commission.
Describing the committee members as people we must take pride in; the former President said the last commission suffered suspicions because it was appointed by the government in power and expressed the hope that the formation of the committee will help to remove doubts from people’s minds about the independence of the Commission.
Speaking at the launch of the committee in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Rawlings commended the Chairman of the Peace Council and member of the committee, Most Reverend Emmanuel Asante for helping to ease tensions when the Presidential election results delayed in 2016. The intervention, he indicated, helped to calm nerves.
In her remarks, Mrs Jean Mensa, the Chairperson of the Commission, said the major rationale for the Committee’s establishment was to demystify the Commission and prove its independence. The committee, she stated will serve as a window between the Commission and the public, stating that while the committee will serve to inform the public on the workings of the Commission, the committee members will also serve to pass on concerns from various members of the public to the Commission.
Earlier on Monday when Madam Jean Mensa called on the former President at his office, he reiterated the fact that because people perceive the Commission as appendages of government the establishment of the committee will help to open the Commission to the populace.
He, therefore, urged members of the committee to speak out on issues of national importance now so their voices will be recognized and appreciated when they speak out during the election period.
The 22-man committee chaired by former CHRAJ boss, Justice Emile Short and assisted by Mrs Gifty Affenyi Dadzie, a former President of the Ghana Journalists Association; with members including Arch Bishop Nicholas Duncan Williams; Arch Bishop Palmer Buckle; Dr Eric Oduro Osae; Dr Rose Mensah Kutin; Dr Yaw Baah and Maulvi Mohammed Bin Sali.
Other members are Most Reverend Emmanuel Asante; Mr Affail Monney; Nana Ato Dadzie; Mr Sam Okudjeto; Mr Tony Forson; Mrs Freda Duplan; Nana Kobina Nketsia V and Rev. Dr Cryril Fayose.
The rest are Rev. Dr Opuni Frimpong; Rev. Ekua Ofori Boateng; Rev. Professor Emmanuel Martey; Rev. Dr Paul Frimpong Manso; Rev. Paul Kwabena Boafo and Sheikh Nuhu Sharabutu.