Former Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan has conceded that Ghana’s elections had not been free from interference of the security agencies.
He specifically mentioned the Ghana Police Service of poking it nose into the running of elections in the country.
The longest serving head of Ghana’s electoral body, Dr. Afari Gyan was speaking at the 5th in the series of Media General’s The Accra Dialogue (TAD 5) in Accra on Wednesday.
He spoke on Ghana’s democratic governance, in relation to the country’s Electoral Commission which he chaired for 22 years, under theme: ‘Consolidation Ghana’s Democratic Governance: The Role of the Electoral Commission’.
The former EC boss however noted that the police interference has changed.
“The days are gone by when the police used to meddle in the actual administration of elections. With assistance from the development partners to do in-house seminars, the police are increasingly becoming alive to their three cardinal responsibilities in elections,” he noted.
The three responsibilities, he mentioned are:
•To protect election materials, election officials, candidates, and voters
•To keep order at polling stations and collation centres
•To arrest election offenders, irrespective of party affiliation
“It is to be hoped that this trend will continue,” Dr. Afari Gyan prayed.
Meanwhile, civil society organisations were praised by him for upping their game when it comes to observing elections.
He however charged them to divert their efforts a little more towards the consolidation of electoral democracy, particularly through a continuous campaign for peaceful elections and by constantly bringing abuses of incumbency into the public domain.
The Accra Dialogue series is organized by the Institute of Law and Public Affairs [ILPA], the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation in partnership with the Media General Group.
Other speakers included the Director of Elections of the National Democratic Congress Congress, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo; Peter Mac Manu International Election Observer with the Democratic Union of Africa and former chairman of the New Patriotic Party as well as former MP for Jomoro, Samia Yaaba Nkrumah also a former chairman of the Convention Peoples Party.