Former President John Dramani Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has once again attacked the Electoral Commission (EC) for his defeat in the 2020 general election.

Mr Mahama who is seeking to become the President of Ghana again has consistently attacked the EC following his second consecutive defeat in the 2020 presidential polls.

He painted a gloomy picture of the EC’s management of the 2020 election, claiming that law-enforcement officials were unwilling to respond to complaints by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) about flaws in the voting.

Former President Mahama further described EC officers as recruiters by the current Akufo-Addo-led government to do the bidding of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

“We’ve had an electoral commission that has been a model for the whole of Africa because of the innovations that we have introduced at every stage of the way … And because of that, it has created some of the best electoral processes that Africa has.

“Unfortunately, you get a government that comes in that appoints people who have a known partisan record on to the Commission. You as much as possible want to appoint people who are credible, who are respected, who everybody knows would be neutral. But this is a government that has a record of appointing NPP people to the Electoral Commission,” Mr. Mahama alleged.

The former President made the allegations when speaking at the London School of Economics with Parselelo Kantai, the Nairobi-based politics/society editor of the Royal African Society’s African Arguments platform, and Nana Yaa Mensah of Asaase radio recently.

“Indeed … sometimes it falls out of their own mouths. One of the commissioners said that our party [the National Democratic Congress] is the biggest existential threat to democracy in Ghana. And he’s a member of the Commission! We know that he was a patron of the NPP student movement on campus.

“There’s even another one who was part of the manifesto writing committee of the NPP. When you have people like that being appointed to the Commission, then you begin to wonder: ‘Should we change the mode of appointment of these people? Should the appointment be taken away from the president and given to some other, independent body?’”.

“[The running of an election] a very complicated process and it needs a lot of stakeholder engagement; it needs level heads – level-headedness – to be able to encourage the EC to do its work so that we all are satisfied with the integrity of the election,” he stated.

Former President Mahama added that, “Recently there was an announcement of recruitment of returning officers, and the information we have is that ministers and DCEs [district chief executives] and others were asked to write the names of party apparatchiki and present them so that they would be appointed as the returning officers. Are these people going to be neutral?

Accusing the EC of perceived EC bias, Mr. Mahama said, “And I think that Ghana has the shock absorbers to be able to go through these processes and debate the necessary reforms.”