General News of Tuesday, 10 March 2015
Source: Daily Guide
There appears to be confusion at the Electoral Commission (EC) over who should take over from the outgoing Chairman, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, who is retiring very soon.
Dr Afari-Gyan is due to address Parliament today, probably for the last time, as he proceeds on terminal leave next week, prior to his retirement.
Even before he retires, there is serious power-play among the deputy commissioners and the issue of who should take over as the acting chairman before a substantive one is appointed has become intense.
The EC boss is going to Parliament to explain the botched district level elections which should have been held on March 3.
A source told DAILY GUIDE that Amadu Sulley, a deputy commissioner in-charge of operations, is seriously lobbying to be appointed acting chairman of the EC and possibly as the substantive chairperson when Afari-Gyan finally retires in June.
Sources told DAILY GUIDE that Mr Amadu Sulley has a lot of questions to answer as he was said to have created the mess in the abortive district assembly and unit committee elections.
As the person in-charge of operations, he reportedly ignored calls by Dr Afari-Gyan to extend the elections timetable when it became apparent that the Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) that was to be used to regulate the elections was flawed.
“If there is anybody to be blamed, it should be Amadu Sulley because Afari-Gyan asked him to extend the time for the elections but he did not heed to the advice. He caused the election mess,” the source claimed.
“He is busily positioning himself as the Acting Commissioner and the sort of ongoing power-play at the commission is amazing. Dr Afari-Gyan’s imminent departure has gripped everybody at the commission,” the source observed.
He said the cancellation of the elections by the Supreme Court had thrown the EC’s budgeted programmes out of gear.
“The EC spent millions of state money to print the ballot papers and made other preparations before the court ordered it to restart the whole process, so it is a huge financial loss Dr Afari-Gyan and his staff have caused,” he noted.
The source continued, “It is clear that the commission will have to do another balloting for candidates except in areas where only one candidate will be contesting, and all these will be at the expense of the taxpayer.”
The election was called off because Benjamin Eyi Mensah, a fisherman from Winneba in the Central Region, challenged the maturity of C.I. 85 – the instrument used by the EC to organise the elections – and the Supreme Court duly affirmed the plaintiff’s reliefs.
The commission later in a terse statement said, “In view of the Supreme Court’s decision in the matter of Benjamin Eyi Mensah v The Electoral Commission, on Friday, 27th February, 2015, with regard to the maturity of C.I 85, the District Level Elections and all activities connected with them have been suspended forthwith until further notice.”