EC Board Member Rebuked

…For Not Exercising Greater Discretion

A board member of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Peter Appiahene, has been chided for not exercising greater discretion, after he attended a purported political programme graced by the Vice President and flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, recently.

According to a senior lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo, it was quite unfortunate for Dr Appiahene, to have been seen at such a place when he is supposed to be a neutral appointee, at the time the December election is fast approaching.

“Any of us can be at such an event because, we don’t occupy the kind of position he occupies. He should have been smart and a little bit intelligent. You can be a political sycophant but do so with some intelligence so that you can guarantee your own security of tenure,” he said.

The comment by Professor Gyampo, comes in the wake of an image capturing him [Dr Appiahene], the vice president and other officials of the University of Energy and Natural Resources in the Bono Region at the event.

Even though,both the ruling party’scommunicators, have tried to explain that, Dr Appiahene, was present at the event because he doubles as a senior lecturer of the university, many have refused to accept the explanation.

Prof Gyampo insists,the EC board member’s presence at the programme, should have been avoided, considering the brouhaha that greeted his appointment, because of his alleged affiliation with the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP)

“I think that if he was really seen at party rallies or at the event that was attended by Dr Bawumia as part of his campaign rallies. I think it was an indiscretion on his part. You know Kwadwo Dr Afari Gyan was appointed from the University of Ghana as a lecture, was appointed as chair of the Electoral Commission and we didn’t hear that he attended any event organized by a political party. For you to have an EC director of IT whose appointment received a barrage of criticism, that he was a partisan person,”Prof Gyampo said.

According to him, “As I sit here somebody has chronicled all the NPP positions he was occupying…If you are partisan person and you are appointed to a certain position of trust you are expected to mount a certain high ground of independence and neutrality so that you can do your work and do it will”.

He added, “I mean giving that people have already criticized you and your appointment as very partisan I was thinking that he could have simply excused himself from that event in order not to deepen the perception in the minds of people that you were appointed to go do the bidden of the NPP. So, I think that it was serious indiscretion on his part”.

According to Prof Gyampo, in as much as he supports the building of institutions and strengthening them and does not subscribe to changing people at such places as and when political power changes, but he added that “I will support attempt at desilting some of these key institutions and ridden them off people who are overly partisan and wouldn’t want to assert any level of neutrality and partiality”.

Prof Gyampo, who is known to have personal relation with the EC chair, Jean Mensa, encouraged the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to officially report the conduct of his colleague lecturer to the EC.

Recall that last week, Dr Appiahene, was seen at a programme with the vice president in the Bono Region, where the latter went to campaign.

Even though the two attended the programme organized by the University on small-scale mining separately, the photograph of them together, has sparked mixed reactions.

Raising the matter on the Key Points prgramme on TV3 last Saturday, Member of Parliament (MP) for Buem constituency, Kofi Adam, condemned Dr Appiahene, saying he has shown his bias by being in the company of the vice president.

He said this goes to confirm the NDC’s initial objection to Dr Appiahene’s appointment. Mr Adams, said the action of the EC board chair shows the country is being run like someone’s personal property.

“Why won’t he appear with their flagbearer now? You see we are running a country where some persons just think that the whole governance set up is like running their home. Even in your home today, you sometimes have to engage with your kids and spouses and others in arriving at decision that will better everybody but the whole country is being run as if it is somebody’s home affair”, Mr Adam said.

Asked if the party, will after pointing it out go ahead to file an official complaint to the EC, Mr Adams answered in the affirmative.

“I believe that the party will surely the party will do that because it is a matter that has just come up and so the party will surely do that”, he added.

Government spokesperson on Governance and Security, Palgrave Boakye Danquah, explained that his findings showed that the event was never a political one. Adding it was secondly organized by the university and since the board member was also a lecturer there, he attended the programme in his capacity as a senior lecturer.

“And I am told, I am reliably informed that the EC IT technical personnel is a lecturer at the university so it is just like Prof Gyampo here who is a lecturer at the University of Ghana who also in the future of the NPP government might be appointed in any role in government to serve any role.

There are various persons who work in public organizations that also want to exercise their academic prowess and this EC IT gentleman is a lecturer at the university so let put that in proper context and it wasn’t that he attended a meeting the vice president was attending.”


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