EC needs change of guards
Whatever the final outcome of the bribery allegation, the Electoral Commission, would be left bruised and battered. The police statement on Monday, that Director of Elections, Mr. Isaac Asomaning and the Logistic Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Asante Kusi, both of the Electoral Commission were arrested and granted bail, in connection with allegations that the two officers collected GH¢1.6 m from a prospective Presidential candidate in order to facilitate the eligibility of Prophet Daniel Nkansah, leader of the New Vision Party, to contest the 2012 Presidential elections, has opened the Pandora’s box.
The various allegations flying about after nominations closed on last Thursday, especially the circumstances under which some political parties and their leaders were disqualified from the vote, suggest that all is not well with the Electoral Commission.
The Chronicle would like to believe that the bribery allegation would be swiftly dealt with before Ghanaians go to the polls. It would be scandalous for the country to entrust fair play and even playing field to an organization whose top officials are cited for bribery and are still hanging about.
Already, there a number of threats of court actions hanging over the head of the Electoral Commission, as we head for the home-stretch of the election campaign. Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, leader of the National Democratic Party is crying foul with party leaders over the way and manner she was deprived of her right to be on the ballot paper. A number of other failed parties are also assembling the evidence with which to head for the courts.
With all these hanging on the head of Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, it is certainly not the best of news that his Director of Elections, one key person in the conduct of the polls, has been busted for taking bribe in the line of duty.
Dr. Afari-Gyan himself has not successfully dealt with allegations from Nigeria, that he himself may be doing the bidding of some politicians in the country.
One and a half months to the election is certainly not the time to ruffle feathers. But it is beginning to look like the state would have to take a decisive action to deal with the perception that people manning the most sensitive part of the nation’s drive to democracy and the establishment of an equitable society, may themselves be corrupt.
The Chronicle hopes and prays that the case involving the Director of Elections and the Logistic Officer would be handled quickly to establish their guilt or otherwise. The Electoral Commission is one public institution that ought to be above board. Unfortunately, as a human institution, it is open to all manner of sleaze. We are told in the Holy Book that though the Son of God chose only twelve disciples, it was one of them that betrayed him.
That is why there is need for swift action to separate the wheat from the chaff before the nation goes to the polls on December 7. We are of the view that a wholesale change of staff would be necessary once the elections were over.
Dr. Afari-Gyan would conduct his last vote in December. After that he would head for a lonely life as a pensioner. We suggest that all other commissioners should be re-posted after this vote. We need totally fresh personnel to take over the conduct of elections, to re-establish legitimacy in the system.
We need a total change of guard at the Electoral Commission. It would not stop the corruption. But it has the tendency to minimize it for a while, at least!
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