Afari-Gyan backs partisan District Elections

Politics of Thursday, 22 January 2015

Source: Daily Guide

Afari Gyan Ec Chair

The Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan has backed calls for local government elections to be conducted on a partisan basis.

According to him, “Eventually in the future, we will have to open it up to partisan participation, because they (parties) are behind the scenes though the law currently bars parties from doing so.

Dr. Afari-Gyan made the statement in Ho during a day’s capacity building workshop for journalists and other media practitioners in the Volta Region on election coverage.

The EC Chairman, who was unhappy with apathy towards local government elections, expressed optimism that partisanship would increase participation of the citizens in local government elections.

He stressed that opening up the district level elections to partisan participation would end the supremacy of the two major parties- National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) so that other minority parties can pick up some strength in the countryside.

“But if things go on like this, that is if you mention your name and you don’t add either NDC or NPP nobody can even recognise you, then my friends we are moving in the wrong direction,” he warned.

The veteran public servant said though the local government system constitutes the foundation for the country’s democracy and development, it lacks the requisite human resources to effectively deliver to the citizens.

He therefore entreated Ghanaian professionals to contest in the district level elections so as to boost district assemblies to accelerate development at the grassroots.

“Next time, if all of you become candidates, you’ll improve the quality of the assemblies,” the EC boss told journalists at the workshop.

Touching on the upcoming district Level elections scheduled for March 3 2015, the EC boss, who doubles as the commissioner for the Volta and Ashanti regions, appealed to media houses to whip up the interest of the public in the impending exercise through their reportage.