Botched elections dent image of EC chair – Ofosu Ampofo


Former Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo has said the suspension of the district assembly and unit committee elections has dented the image of the Chairman of the Electoral Commission.

He said the hard won reputation of Dr Afari Gyan and his immense contribution to the peaceful electoral process of the country have all been lost due to this singular act.

Especially at a time when the EC chair is about to retire, Mr Ampofo said the suspension of the elections has become “a blot on his enviable reputation and I think that all he has done for the past 21 years has been marred.”

Speaking on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’ the former Eastern Regional Minister said it was a pity that Dr Gyan could not perform this last function before he went on retirement.

Chairman of the EC has come under intense criticism after the Supreme Court declared the March 3, 2015 District Assembly Elections unconstitutional, thereby nullifying all the preparations that have been made towards the elections.

The criticisms have further heightened after it emerged that the Commission spent GHÈ»317 million on the botched elections and is seeking an extra GHÈ»90 million to undertake fresh elections.

Dr Afari Gyan told Parliament yesterday when he was summoned to explain circumstances under which the elections were suspended he was misled into believing that he could open and close nominations before the maturation of CI 85, the law to regulate the conduct of the elections, 

He, however, failed to name which individual or group had given him the wrong counsel.

Some have called for the EC chair to be prosecuted for willfully causing financial loss to the state and misusing tax payer’s money.

Other have also accused the EC of  arrogance, impunity and self-centeredness.

But Mr Ofosu Ampofo said it was baffling that the EC chair would be misled by anyone, considering the fact that he is an authority in the field and is well vexed on issues of such nature.

He however noted that a person of Dr Afari Gyan’s stature is what the country needed to manage its electioneering affairs.

He said it is in the right frame for the EC chair to be resolute because his job requires that he is.

He added that if the EC was any ‘softer’ than he is, the tendency for people to walk over him would have been high and this would not have favoured the country.

Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper Kweku Baako

Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Kweku Baako who was on the same platform, said the suspended elections is “a disaster” and not the best thing to happen at a time where the country’s economy is not in the best of shapes.

He added that the situation was “an unpardonable one”.

Mr Baako said refusal of the EC to listen to numerous advice that came his way when he opened nominations for the district assembly elections contributed to the situation and that there was “sufficient notice to him.”

The situation in his view was unnecessary and could have been avoided, he added.

Mr Baako said the Chairman should have retired honourably and with dignity not with the kind of disgrace he has found himself in.

He, however, failed to name which individual or group had given him the wrong advice when urged on by MPs. – See more at: http://graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/39822-ec-spends-ghc317m-on-cancelled-assembly-elections.html#sthash.aVQC1mXC.dpuf

  Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Naa Sakwaba Akwa | faustine.akwa@myjoyonline.com


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