Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday named lawyer and governance specialist Jean Mensa to head the national electoral commission, dismaying the main opposition party which said Mensa was an unsuitable choice. She replaces Charlotte Osei who was fired by Akufo-Addo last month for “misbehaviour and incompetence,” relating to alleged breaches of Ghanaian procurement laws. Osei denied the accusation. Until her appointment, announced by the presidency, Mensa headed the Accra-based Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank, organisers of presidential debates ahead of general elections in Ghana. The West African nation, a major commodity exporter, will hold elections in December 2020, a vote that is likely to be a close contest between Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The NDC boycotted the last presidential debate ahead of 2016 elections, accusing Mensa of working in the interests of Akufo-Addo, then leader of the main opposition. She dismissed the accusation.
The NDC said it received news of Mensa’s appointment as head of the electoral commission with “shock and disbelief”, alleging that she “is pro-NPP and an avowed anti-NDC”, making her unfit for the position.