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 committee will help to remove doubts from people’s minds about the independence of the Commission.

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Speaking during 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. The intervention, he indicated, helped to calm nerves.

Related story: Emile Short chairs EC’s 21-member Eminent Advisory Committee

Commission Chairperson, 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 serve to pass on concerns from various members of the public to the Commission.

Earlier on Monday when Mrs Jean Mensa called on the former President at his office, he reiterated the fact that because people perceive the Commission as appendages of government the establishment of the committee will help to open the Commission to the populace. He urged members of the committee to speak out on issues of national importance now so their voices will be recognized and appreciated when they speak out during the election period.

The 21-man committee chaired by former CHRAJ boss, Justice Emile Short and assisted by Mrs. Gifty Affenyi Dadzie, a former President of the Ghana Journalists Association, include Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante, Chairman of the National Peace Council; Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, National Chief Imam; Maulvi Mohammed Bin Salih, Ameer of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community; Rt. Rev Paul Kwabena Boafo, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Ghana; Nana Ato Dadzie, a former Chief of Staff and Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, President of the National Charismatic Christian Churches.

The others are: Rev. Dr. Cyril G. K. Frimpong, General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana; Mr Tony Forson, President of the Ghana Bar Association; Rev. Dr. Paul Frimpong-Manso, Head of the Pentecostal Council; Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey, a former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana; Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin, a Gender Advocate and Mr Roland Affail Monney, President of the GJA.

The rest are Nana Kobina Nketia V, Omanhene of the Essikado Traditional Area; Eric Oduro Osae, Advocate for decentralisation and democratic development in Ghana, Rev. Ekua Buabema Ofori-Boateng, Managing Director of ILF Consulting Engineers; Mr Sam Okudzeto, a Member of the Council of State; Rev. Dr. Paul Opuni Frimpong, a former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana and Dr. Yaw Baah, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress.

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