The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, has cautioned officers of the nation’s election management body against acts of association that could undermine the credibility of the institution to carry out its mandate of holding credible elections.
While advising election officers against operating in secrecy and holding secret meetings with individuals or groups, she called for transparency and fairness through the creation of a level playing field for all parties.
“It is important you bear in mind that you have not been sent to the districts to do the bidding of any person or political party. You are only accountable to the electoral commission” she said.
Mrs Mensah gave the advice when she addressed some 158 newly appointed officers at the opening of a two-day orientation programme held in Accra on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.
Orientation for EC Staff
The orientation which was under the theme, “Ensuring Efficiency, Accountability and Professionalism in Service delivery”, sought to educate officers on the mandate of the EC, its governance structure, duties and obligation of officers, general administrative and human resource practices among others.
The EC boss urged the recruits who were selected from 2700 applicants to abide by the commission’s cardinal principle of transparency, fairness and integrity.
“It is important to lay bare the fact that you will be tempted, enticed and induced to act in the interest of individuals or section of our society. We expect nothing but integrity and honesty from you even in the most tempting situations” she said.
Guard Against Misappropriation
She advised field officers to at all time guard against misappropriation and make judicious use of resources such as vehicle and funds as “any violation of policy would not be tolerated and the commission will not take lightly acts of dishonesty”.
The Deputy Chair in charge of Operations at the EC, Mr Samuel Tettey, has for his part warned new officers against over reliance on returning officers who might capitalise on their novelty and subject them to manipulation in elections.
He also urged officers to among other things go through the appropriate line of communication to channel grievances, be stationed in their posted districts to give credible information and also refer to colleagues and superiors when in need of clarification.
The Deputy in Charge of Corporate Service, Eric Bossman Asare, said, “You can’t say the New Patriotic Party (NPP) or National Democratic Congress (NDC) chairman in a district is your friend. Because once you do that the others might misconstrue your action.”