Repairing The Broken Image Of Ghana’s EC
ESTABLISHED by the Electoral Commission Act (Act 451) of 1993, the Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan chaired Electoral Commission of Ghana has been supervising the democratic transitions of the country since 1992.
It also superintended the transition from one military government to one democratically elected Government and vice versa with members of all political parties agreeing to results it channels out.
THE commission is made up of seven (7) members; a Chairman, two Deputy Chairmen and 4 other Members all of whom are appointed by the President on the advice of the Council of State. The three Chairmen have permanent tenure of office and the same conditions of service as judges of the Superior Courts; i.e. the Chairman has conditions of service of Appeals Court Judges while the two Deputy Chairmen have conditions of service of High Court judges.
THE seven members of the Commission collectively constitute the policy-making and management body of the organization, and exercise general supervision over the staff. The Commission is required to meet at least once every two months. On a day-to-day basis, the three Chairmen, exercise executive powers on behalf of the Commission. The Commission has about 1,450 employees and its administrative expenses are charged on the Consolidated Fund.
ITS successes cannot be made without acknowledging the input of various stakeholders of Ghana's democracy who have defied all means to ensure transparency in Ghana's polls. They include major Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), – both International and Local- and other regional agencies which think of the peace of Ghana as very instrumental to the development of the West African sub-region.
HOWEVER, after conducting five successful elections which ensured the placement of the country on the global map of peace, the EC through various covert and overt means is slowly leading the country back to the dark days of Ghana's politics. Its staff is being accused of conniving and condoning with cronies of the ruling government to rig the just ended polls; a situation which has contributed to the creeping back of the culture of impunity.
SECURITY agencies are left with no option other than being placed on red alert and simultaneously disturbing the peace of citizens through the tooting of horns even at odd hours to pave way and attend to one election related violence or the other. We on Today is of the opinion this could have been prevented if the EC officials had been professional in the discharge of their duties and help erase from the minds of Ghanaians all prejudices that they would be biased in discharging their functions.
THOUGH it is not clear whether it's Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan would retire or go further to conduct the next polls, what we would call for is an overhaul of the EC of Ghana and subsequent retraining of staff to update them on their functions and the need for them to remain objective. They should be made aware that referees in a game do not take sides and must desist from all forms of enticements from politicians as they embark on the journey to restore their broken image.