EC boss Afari-Gyan talks of retirement

Dr. Afari Gyan has expressed the hope that whoever takes over from him will continue with the legacy he left at the EC.

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The Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, has indicated that he will retire very soon and might not be able to dig deep into the electoral reform recommendations of the Electoral Reforms Committee.

He has, however, expressed the hope that whoever takes over from him would continue with the exercise.

Dr. Afari-Gyan said this on Friday when the Electoral Reforms Committee submitted its final report to the commission for study and for possible adoption.

The committee was established to make and recommend changes to the nation’s electoral system.

Dr. Afari-Gyan said he was yet to study the final report, but expressed the hope that the recommendations, which would be adopted by the EC, would help bring the needed changes that would be acceptable to all stakeholders.

“We will ensure that those aspects which are administrative will be looked into carefully and refer the legal ones to the appropriate authorities to look into them,” he stated.

He, however, cautioned that the commission was not bound to implement all the electoral reform recommendations of the Electoral Reforms Committee.

“We would, however, want Ghanaians to note that the commission would not hesitate to adopt recommendations which can work,” he added.

He said contrary to people’s perception, the Supreme Court did not issue orders to the EC to set up an Electoral Reforms Committee, but rather it was recommended to the commission.

He assured Ghanaians that the EC would take its time to study the report carefully and inform Ghanaians on decisions which would be taken on the committee’s recommendations.

He said the report in itself was not a finished product and he would therefore not be able to disclose its contents to the stakeholders or make copies available to them.

“I am not even aware of what is in this report and we will have to study it before I can comment on it,” he added.

Ms Georgina Opoku Amankwaa, the Chairperson of the Electoral Reform Committee, said the body was made up of representatives of political parties, the EC and civil society organisations.

She expressed satisfaction with the level of consensus and the co-operation she received from the members, especially the two main political parties, for their decisions to arrive at a consensus on critical matters such as how to handle issues of over-voting, and verification.

Ms Opoku Amankwaa, who is also a Deputy Commissioner at the Electoral Commission, expressed her appreciation to the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) for its assistance to the committee.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, cited the immediate prosecution of electoral offenders, and a clarification of what over-voting is, as some of the recommendations the committee made to the EC.

“We also recommended that although the issue of electronic voting is good, it should be studied very well and must not be adopted for our 2016 general election until we have got all its appropriate requirements in the country,” he added.

He said the political parties were also of the view that the adoption of “No verification, no vote” should still stand.

Source: Graphiconline

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