Pro-opposition group, Let my Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA) says Martin Amidu’s accusations that they are only engaged in launching partisan attacks on members of the National Election Steering Committee constituted by the Electoral Commission to assist in the conduct of the November polls, are baseless.
The former Attorney-General in a statement accused the pro-opposition groups of making unsubstantiated charges against public officers simply because they had been nominated to the Election Steering Committee.
Allegations of bias
The groups, including the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), have accused the EC of allowing persons affiliated to the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), on the 18-member committee, whose composition is expected to be neutral.
Withdrawal of committee member
The accusations eventually led to the withdrawal of Dr. Karl Marx Arhin, the representative of the National Service Secretariat (NSS) from the committee, after the NDC confirmed that he was its Deputy Director in charge of International Relations.
Even that did not satisfy the critics, as they pointed out other individuals of having affiliations to the NDC.
The brouhaha forced an Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting between the EC and the political parties, to thrash out the matter.
But that IPAC meeting appears to have complicated the matter further, following conflicting reports by some party reps that the EC suspended the steering committee, with the EC also saying that it only agreed to take a second look at the committee but did not suspend it.
Commenting on these developments in a statement issued on Tuesday, the man who calls himself the ‘Citizen Vigilante’ condemned the politicization of the steering committee, although he also questioned the legality of the committee.
“I am shocked and personally disappointed at the fact that the Let My Vote Count Alliance which I perceived to be a non-partisan civil society organization stooped so low in making unsubstantiated charges of political bias against named constitutionally protected public officers simply because they had been nominated to represent their respective public institutions on the now well-known Electoral Commission’s Steering Committee for Election 2016,” Mr. Amidu said in his statement.
Amidu’s accusations baseless But in response to Mr. Amidu’s claims, the Convener of LMVCA, David Asante, told Citi News Mr. Amidu’s accusation is baseless.
“In any case, if you have once contested as a parliamentary candidate for the NDC and we refer to your past there is nothing demeaning about it so we will keep on mentioning the names of those people. We are not questioning their professional competence. We are saying that the committee has something to do with election management and therefore absolute neutrality is required of the gentlemen and women on the board. So these individual with rich NDC political backgrounds cannot be independent arbiters on the committee. So with the greatest respect, I do not think Mr. Martin Amidu understands the issues at stake.”
“When Let My Vote Count Alliance raised the issues, people on the committee have started resigning and their political party has pulled them out and said that it is disgraceful that one of their own is sitting on a supposed independent and neutral committee, so what is the business of Martin Amidu saying we have painted them with a partisan brush and that is unfair,” he quizzed.
David Asante insisted that the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei, has not been truthful to Ghanaians about the neutrality of the Election Steering Committee.