The former Chairperson of Ghana Elections Commission, Madam Charlotte Osei, has arrived in Monrovia to join the technical team that has been on the ground. Madam Osei arrived on Sunday, November 15 to lead the ECOWAS team of IT experts who arrived in October to help the Liberia Elections Commission (NEC) clean up the controversial voter’s roll that has derailed the confidence of the opposition community in the electoral system as the mid-term senatorial election draws closer.
Following the formal request from President George Manneh Weah, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, has approved the deployment of a team of Election and IT experts to assist the NEC in the cleaning of the voter roll in preparation for the Senatorial Elections, Constitutional Referendum and by-elections scheduled to hold on 8th December 2020.
This deployment is also in keeping with the provisions of Article 14 of the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance as well as Article 53(c) of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework and the Decision of the Authority of Heads of State to send timely pre-election missions to Member States holding elections to ensure a credible and a free and fair electoral process.
The technical arm of the team has been in Liberia since 22nd October 2020 and has been working with the NEC Data Centre, as well as the UNDP Consultants attached to the Centre.
Mrs. Osei has over 25 years experience in both the private and public sectors and has held various senior-level leadership positions during this period.
Amongst others, she was the immediate past Executive and the first female Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana where she conducted the 2016 Ghana Presidential and Parliamentary Elections acclaimed by the international and domestic observers as one of the best elections in Africa and beyond. Mrs. Osei was also the First female Executive Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in Ghana, where she managed and ensured effective stakeholder engagements for a wide range of stakeholders including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), State Institutions, faith-based organizations, women and youth groups and the international donor community. In addition to these experiences, Madam Osei has been a Technical Expert as well as ECOWAS Long Term Observer to ECOWAS Member States including serving in various ECOWAS Pre-Election Fact-Finding Missions. She was also a UN International Non-Voting Commissioner at the Electoral Complaints Commission, Afghanistan.
She is an accomplished lawyer with a Masters of Law degree from Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, she also holds a Masters degree in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, and currently the Founder and Lead Counsel of Prime Attorneys in Ghana. She is also a Board member of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA).
Mrs. Osei was a recipient of the Woman of Courage Award (2017) by the US government, Glitz Africa Woman of the Year Award, Governance (2018), and Finalist for Chatham House International Prize in 2017. ECOWAS and the UNDP believe that with her vast experience in Law, Election Observation and Management and having held key executive positions in both private and public offices, Madam Osei would be able to provide strategic advice to the NEC in areas of logistics, elections planning, communications, dispute resolutions and team building as it prepares for the forthcoming elections. She will also work closely with the ECOWAS office of the Special Representative in Liberia and the UNDP.
The profile of Madam Osei poses a challenge to NEC Chairperson Davidetta Brown-Lasannah who is challenged by a heavy election weight that oppositions are less confident in her ability to conduct free, fair, and transparent elections being perceived as a friend to the President and a loyalist of the ruling CDC.
Furthermore, the impeccable profile of Madam Osei in election matter is expected to be translated to Madam Brown-Lasannah by her female colleague, and any attempt on her part to create mistrust in the impending election will have an adverse impact on her reputation that may extend to women in general.