The National Democratic Congress (NDC), has suggested that Chairpersons of the Electoral Commission (EC) must be appointed after Parliament has approved their nominations.
Currently, the appointment of the Chairperson of the EC is in accordance with the provisions of Article 70 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, which states that “the President shall, acting on the advice of the Council of State, appoint the Chairman, Deputy Chairmen, and other members of the Electoral Commission.”
According to the NDC, this mode of appointment is susceptible to partisan influences.
The proposal forms part of the over 30 recommendations for electoral reforms announced by the NDC recently.
The party fears that without parliamentary intervention, candidates appointed may not be qualified to meet the EC’s critical requirements which are; independence, neutrality, credibility, transparency, and competence. The NDC believes that these values cannot be compromised.
The Party, therefore, stated that in appointing individuals to such a vital public position, those elected to represent the interest of the people must approve of them, “the Chairperson of EC who also serves as Returning Officer of the presidential election must not be solely appointed by the President, who is often a candidate.”
The NDC further noted that the Constitution Review Commission (CRC), which the current EC Chairperson was a member, recommended prior parliamentary approval and the Government White Paper on the CRC Report accepted this recommendation.