Former President Jerry John Rawlings has described the establishment of an Eminent Advisory Committee by the Electoral Commission as a wise decision that will help to remove the suspicions people have about the Commission.
Describing the committee members as people we must take pride in, the former President said the last commission suffered suspicions because it was appointed by the government in power and expressed the hope that the formation of the Advisory Committee will help to remove doubts from people’s minds about the independence of the election management body.
Speaking at the launch of the committee at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Rawlings commended the Chairman of the Peace Council and member of the committee, Most Reverend Emmanuel Asante, for helping to ease tensions when the presidential election results delayed in 2016.
His intervention, Mr Rawlings indicated, helped to calm nerves.
The Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Jean Mensa, in outdooring the committee, said the major rationale for its establishment was to demystify the Commission and prove its independence.
The committee, she stated, will serve as a window between the Commission and the public, stating that while the committee will serve to inform the public on the workings of the Commission, the committee members will also relay concerns from various members of the public to the Commission.
A day earlier when Mrs Mensa called on the former President at his office, he reiterated the fact that because people perceive the Commission as an appendage of the government, the establishment of the committee will help to open the Commission up to the populace.
He urged members of the committee to speak out on issues of national importance now so their voices will be recognised and appreciated when they speak out during the election period.
The 22-member committee chaired by former CHRAJ boss, Justice Emile Short and assisted by Mrs Gifty Affenyi Dadzie, a former President of the Ghana Journalists Association, has members such as Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, Archbishop Palmer-Buckle, Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Dr Rose Mensah Kutin, Dr Yaw Baah and Maulvi Mohammed Bin Sali.
The other members are Most Reverend Emmanuel Asante, Mr Affail Monney, Nana Ato Dadzie, Mr Sam Okudjeto, Mr Tony Forson, Mrs Freda Duplan, Nana Kobina Nketsia V and Rev Dr Cyril Fayose.
The rest are Rev Dr Opuni Frimpong, Rev Ekua Ofori Boateng, Rev Prof Emmanuel Martey, Rev Dr Paul Frimpong Manso, Rev Paul Kwabena Boafo and Sheikh Nuhu Sharabutu.