EC has done no wrong – Dr Afari-Gyan

Dr. Afari-Gyan – EC Boss

Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) has said it is important for Ghanaians to avoid drawing conclusions that imputed wrong-doing on the part of the EC, concerning the demarcation of new constituencies.

“Let us reflect on these issues and find the best way out of this constituency issue,” he said.

Dr Afari-Gyan, said this in a lecture he delivered in Accra on the theme: “Two Decades of Electoral Reforms in Ghana: The Biometric Voter Registration Systems in Perspective.”

The lecture was held, under the Institute of Democratic Governance 2012 election program dubbed, “The High Level Forum.”

He said the creation of 275 constituencies was done by applying basic principles that guided the EC saying “we have an objective formula for creating new districts.”

The EC Chairman continued “let us all sit-down and think the best way out of this, instead of resorting to name-calling and other forms of behavior that do not auger well for national progress.”

Dr Afari-Gyan said if the EC, by the prevailing circumstances, found it meaningful to create new constituencies, “they would be created.”

Touching on the electoral process, he said, the biometric system of registering as a voter, made it almost impossible for people to indulge in voting fraud such as double registration.

The EC Chairman said observers at polling stations should be vigilant at polling stations during the election, in order to detect any fraud.

“According to the law, you can only challenge polling station results at that particular polling station. You are not to come to me for recounting, after the entire exercise is over.”

He said polling agents therefore had to be vigilant at their respective polling stations.

Prof Kwame Ninsin, Senior Scholar-in Residence, IDEG, said the participatory nature of the electoral process which even allowed people at the grassroots to participate in the country’s governance process “shows how effective our system is”.

He said the EC had over the years strived to ensure that the electoral system was without blemish and that though “there are problems in engaging in public policy. We should continue to dialogue and not fight, when these problems in policy implementation occur”.

Whilst the Mo Ibrahim index has consistently declared Ghana as the seventh best governed country in Africa, the country’s electoral system has continued to face challenges since the beggining of the year, such as the demarcation of constituencies and court cases from the procurement of biometric equipment, and the controversy over the Instrument entitled, “The Representation of the People (Parliamentary Constituencies) Instrument 2012 (CI73), which is the constitutional Instrument that demarcates the 275 constituencies for the conduct of the 2012 elections.

Source: GNA

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