NDC deputy General Secretary

Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mustapha Gbande, has expressed his disappointment about the Council of State’s dismissal of its petition regarding the appointment of Dr. Peter Appiahene and Hajia Salima Ahmed Tijani as Electoral Commission (EC) members for their alleged affiliation to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

To him, the Council has failed on its core mandate to advise the President on appointments and certain key issues.

“The mess we’ve all found ourselves in is because of the conduct of the Council of State. They’re not doing their jobs well. If the Council of State advises the president to appoint candidates for the Electoral Commission without doing due diligence, that shows a pure reflection of the state of the nation. The Council of State is not giving the President the needed advice to move Ghana forward,” he said on Accra-based Neat FM.

Mr Gbande added that the council’s verdict on their petition will further “dwindle the trust and confidence of the public in the Electoral Commission”.

A statement signed by the Chairman of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Siriboe II said the advice to the President on the recent appointment of the NPP ‘party faithful” cannot be reviewed.

According to the council, once it thoroughly assessed the nominees’ CVs and provided advice to the President, the process was deemed complete.

Nana Otuo Siriboe II also established that, as rightly stated in paragraph eight of the third page of the letter, the President having sworn into office the two individuals, it is therefore impossible to review the Council’s recommendations to the President.

The Chairman stressed that they do not have the authority to review recommendations once they have been submitted to the President and as a result of this decision, it is impossible to revisit the approval process for Dr. Appiahene and Hajia Tijani.

A letter signed by the NDC Chairman, Johnson Aseidu Nketiah on Monday, April 17, made a claim that the two members sworn in by the President were deep-rooted members of the ruling NPP government and therefore cannot guarantee the neutrality and impartiality of the country’s electoral management body.

According to the letter, Dr Appiahene has been the patron of the NPP student wing at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) since 2017. He was a member of the party’s National Research and Data Analysis Team.

Additionally, the article alleges that Hajia Tajani is an activist for the NPP, and her family is deeply rooted in the organization.

The NDC, therefore, called on the Council of State to withdraw its advice to the president. It also called on it not to be seen as complicit in the appointment of “these patently partisan individuals to the Electoral Commission. It also called on it to safeguard the council’s integrity as far as its role in our government structure.”