But UN & NPP National Chairman Praise Her Appointment; Opposition Elements Plot Supreme Court Action Mischief
A family member of the flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, has started throwing dirt at Mrs. Charlotte Ama Osei, the new Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), as was done to Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, including an 8-months Supreme Court hearing, following his cousin’s twice unsuccessful attempts to be the President of Ghana.
According to ex-Director of the Danquah Institute (DI), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, the new chair of the EC, is “affiliated to the ruling party,” obviously laying the foundation for a possible rejection of the 2016 Presidential election result, if it is not in favour of Nana Addo; his cousin.
The crime the lady might have committed that makes her supporter of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is that she was once a Teaching Assistant (TA) to late President John Evans Atta Mills during his days at the University of Ghana- Legon, as lecturer.
Her brilliance also overwhelming made her eligible to head the National Commission of Civic Education (NCCE) during the Mills Presidency.
Meanwhile, The Herald is picking signals that, elements within the NPP, intend to drag President John Dramani Mahama and government to the Supreme Court to declare the appointment of Charlotte Osei as EC boss null and void, because she was a serving head of the NCCE.
They argued that, the head of the constitutional body; NCCE, is at the same level as a Court of Appeal Judge, with a definite retiring age of 70-years, so Mrs. Charlotte Osei, should have resigned from her NCCE job, prior to her appointment by President Mahama. To them, this was merely shifting from one Constitutional body to another, and the Supreme Court, should make a pronouncement on this.
Mr. Otchere Darko, had insisted that, “I am saying that for a fact,” following a deep sweep of murmur from panellists on the Joy FM’s news analysis programme Newsfile, last Saturday. He further claimed that, the appointment was not transparent.
The position of the powerful cousin of Nana Addo, is a sharp dichotomy to that of the NPP National Chairman, Paul Awentami Afoko, who welcomed the appointment of Charlotte Ama Osei saying, “she comes at a time when the whole nation is expectant of an electoral system that is widely accepted by all stakeholders”.
It is also in contrast to the position of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59), which has hailed the appointment, it considers it as a bold step by the government in conformity with the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
The “invincible” editor of the Nana Addo-owned-pro-NPP newspaper; The New Statesman, claimed he knows Charlotte Osei personally, and has no doubt in his mind the successor to Afari Gyan, has political leanings to the governing NDC.
Her affiliation notwithstanding, the lawyer said, “it is a wonderful opportunity for [Charlotte Osei] to show what she can do.”
“I will not prejudge her based on her history with the NDC. We should judge her based on the remit of professionalism, fairness,” he added.
Mr. Otchere Darko, would rather the president, had waited for the Supreme Court to rule on the matter filed by Richard Dela Sky of Citi FM, before making the appointment.
He said with the president himself contesting an election, there was always a natural proclivity to want to appoint a person closer to the party.
He was worried that, the appointment process was not transparent enough, but was ready to give the appointee the benefit of the doubt.
But Inusah Fuseini, MP for Tamale Central touted the credentials of Charlotte Osei, saying he was convinced the new appointee, would be able to hold her own in an office known to be a hot seat.
He added that, Afari Gyan, during his appointment in 1992, was said to be a member of the NDC, but endeared himself to everybody till he retired. He had no doubt Charlotte Osei, will do same.
President Mahama, in consultation with the Council of State, appointed Mrs Osei, as the new Chair of the EC.
The NPP National Chairman in a letter published on the party’s website said, “The New Patriotic Party congratulates Mrs. Charlotte Osei, the newly appointed Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana”.
He went on “She comes at a time when the whole nation is expectant of an electoral system that is widely accepted by all stakeholders. We hope she will contribute immensely to the development of our democratic dispensation and its growth, by helping to resolve the many challenges she is inheriting from Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, her predecessor”.
“We recognize that this is another feat for women in this country and pray she lives up to the high expectation of all Ghanaians”, it concluded.
Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, on her part told Ghana News Agency (GNA) that, Ghana has once again set the pace for women empowerment.
She noted: “The attitudes that perpetuate the culture of male superiority, and the stereotypes that diminish women remain. If we do not address this, our progress will always be compromised.”
“We have to be bold, because it has never been so possible to make the changes that we want to make. “This is what we have to deal with now, once and for all. This is what we are referring to when we talk about dismantling patriarchy. This is what requires men to disown this institution of patriarchy.”
Dr. Mlambo-Ngcuka ,said the inequality of representation in politics, the economy and other areas, was one aspect that has not been addressed fully.
“The fact that no country has achieved gender equality requires strong action and strong attention.
“We encourage countries to get closer to the target of equality and to go full steam ahead, and demonstrate how to break new grounds.”
Dr. Mlambo-Ngcuka, admitted that some changes have brought benefits to women. But the reality is that the world has not changed for men.
“Even good men still continue to enjoy patriarchy.
“This situation has to change for everybody. This is about breaking the walls of patriarchy brick by brick, not surviving within patriarchy. I cannot emphasise that more. We have to figure out how to achieve this.
“We have to dismantle patriarchy, because when we talk about gender equality something is lost in the translation. If we call the thing by its name, we may just be able to focus our energy exactly where we want the change to be,” Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka said.
The UN Women reiterated that, from 2015 – 2020, “we want to frontload our actions, so that we get the substantive, critical game-changers on the table first and do not wait for the latter part of the period of the sustainable development goals to begin to gain speed”.
“With this, we can project that by 2030, we can talk of Planet 50-50. Planet 50-50, is about the equal representation of women, the depth of their participation, the substantiveness of their participation, as well as being about the numbers – because numbers do make a difference,” she conluded.