Electoral Commission has total Independence to perform duty-Chairman
Electoral Commission has total Independence to perform duty – Chairman
The Electoral Commission (EC) possesses an independent mind in the discharge of its mandate duty without interference from any external source, says the Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan.
He said all meetings of the Commission have always reached a conscious agreement without the need to vote on any issue discussed during board meetings.
He noted that even though the Commission employs temporary workers to supplement the limited permanent workers during elections, there is likelihood of temporary workers to exhibit non neutrality, which is sometimes difficult to detect, especially if it is done deliberately.
The Chairman indicated that his outfit is doing all it can to build a system of integrity to ensure that workers of the commission are not in any way influenced by political parties to perform some functions in their favour.
The EC Chairman was speaking at the fifth Kronti ne Akwamu lecture, organized by Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) on the topic "The Challenges to Conducting Free and Fair Elections in Emerging African Democracies: The case of Ghana” at the British Council Hall in Accra.
Dr. Afari-Gyan mentioned challenges confronting the EC as legal framework, making and maintaining a good voter register, funding, technical among others.
The Chairman stressed that to have free and fair elections; there was the need for all political parties to organize campaigns in an orderly manner, clean campaign devoid of violence as well as respect one another thereby assisting in the quest to achieve credible elections.
He entreated the populace to desist from the practice of casting multiple voting to avoid heated confrontations at polling stations.
He called on the media to create an equitable access to all political party's candidates and parties with the aim of helping the citizens to make a right decision.
The security agencies were urged to protect ballots boxes during election periods and not take part in the administration of the elections.
On the issue of multiple registrations of voters, the EC boss emphasized that an effective collaboration with the National Identification Authority would assist in the process of deleting foreigners and illegible voters from the voter's register.
Dr. Afari-Gyan called for an equal playing field for all political parties thereby safeguarding transparency.
He called for equal access to financial resources to ensure that all political parties have equal chance of winning elections. The chairman stressed that without financial support regardless of the quality of a presidential candidate and the message, there was no way such a candidate could win an election. In this regard, he called on the government to ensure public funding for political parties.
He remarked that the abuse of incumbency persist due to the fact that there is no law controlling it.
The Chairman said the media performed well in the 2008 general elections especially, with reports from some of the remote areas in the country and drawing the attention of the commission when there was shortage of electoral materials. He was however not pleased with some situations where announcing some results were announced before EC officials did so.
The Kronti ne Akwamu lecture is an annual public lecture on democracy and good governance instituted by the Center for Democratic Development.
The lecture features distinguished scholars and practitioners around the world whose work focus on democracy building and fostering good governance.
Source: The Daily Dispatch