Former President John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor, has expressed confidence and trust in the Electoral Commission (EC) to live up to expectation.
“Within your short stay in office, I am impressed with your work. I feel comfortable, especially with the approach of reaching out to engage with stakeholders. I have been following the EC from afar and I know the affairs of the commission is being steered evenly,” he said.
“I am not too surprised because I know of your integrity, professionalism and exemplary work that contributed to the growth of the Institute of Economics Affairs when you led that body”.
He counselled the EC not to succumb to pressure from political parties but should remain firm, transparent, and professional, as well as take decisive decisions that would ensure peace in all its electoral activities.
Former President Kufuor said this when Mrs Jean Mensa, the Chairperson of the EC led a team of its Commissioners to pay a courtesy call on him in Accra.
Among the team were her two deputies – Mr Samuel Tettey, the Commissioner in-charge of Operations and Dr Bossman Eric Asare, the Commissioner in-charge of Corporate Services, as well as Mrs Adwoa Asuama Abrefa, a Commissioner.
The visit formed part of EC’s efforts to explain its operations and bring the Commission closer to stakeholders as well as afford the Commission an opportunity to know at first-hand, the concerns and issues regarding its operations.
The EC’s delegation was received by the Former President, Mr Kwadwo Mpiani, the former Chief of Staff and other staff members.
He lauded the EC’s transformation agenda and urged the Commission to equip its staff with the requisite training to ensure smooth electoral processes because the EC was a pivot around which political system revolved.
“Wherever there is power there is tension because everyone wants to be on top to manage the power it but it is the duty of the referee to ensure fairness and impartiality,” he said.
“Your agents at the local level must reflect your integrity with which you are working. They must do their work without compromising.
“Do not expect the political parties to love you. The constitution enjoins you to be a good referee and ensure that the right things are done in the interest of the state. The stability of the nation will depend on your work.
“I believe 2020 will be crucial to Ghana and many countries look up to Ghana so we need to prepare very well for events before during and after. Use the best practices to conduct the elections and be firm”.
The former President encouraged the EC to continue the Inter-Party Advisory Committee meetings and listen to constructive concerns to enhance its work.
Mr Mpiani said the EC over the years had not opened up to its stakeholders hence political parties in opposition constantly had issues with the Commission.
“We politicians are part of the problem of the EC. I have had the opportunity to engage with the EC and I think politicians make the work of the EC very difficult,” he said.
To enhance the work of the EC, he suggested that, the EC engaged the right and competent people at the local level to administer the electoral processes.
He advised the EC to open up to all politicians and the public about its operations to win their trust to reduce tensions.
Mrs Mensa said the Commission recognised the immense contribution of former President Kufuor to the political dispensation of Ghana, hence the decision to visit to seek wise counsel and partnership.
Mrs Mensa reiterated that the Commission was poised to run an open door policy and would give a level playing field to all political parties to ensure credible, transparent, free and fair elections.
She briefed them about the commencement of processes to build a strong administrative governance structure to correct lapses at the EC.