Let’s Stop Afari Djan And The Electoral Commission- NPP

*This is a Press Statement by the NPP

*NPP doubts the neutrality of the Electoral Commission

*Dr. Afari Gyan is accused of sending strong signals of potentially destructive bias

 

PRESS STATEMENT

In January 2001 we concluded, for the very first time in our history, the handing over of National Office from one political party to another through the ballot box.

And we did it peacefully, to the admiration of the whole world.

In 2008, in a most fiercely contested election from which the victor emerged by some 40,000 votes out of more than 9million counted, in spite of more than 200,000 spoilt ballots, we again achieved this feat, without an insistence on a recount . This time, to such fulsome acclaim that the newly elected part African President of the United States of America, Barack Obama made our nation his first visit to his home continent.

In 2012, we suffered the challenge of the sudden death of our sitting President.

Once again, Ghanaian democratic credentials and commitment to peace were eloquently displayed in the manner in which we handled the transition to a new President and the selection of a new Vice President.

We now approach the general elections of 2012 and all Ghanaians and all friends of Ghana are praying fervently that, once more, Ghana will live up to her exalted status by having a free, transparent, fair and peaceful election.

Achieving peace is up to all of us, we must not only pray for it but we must work for it. Some have a higher responsibility than others. We in the N.P.P. point to our proven tradition of accepting election results and assure everyone that we shall not be the cause of any disruption of a peaceful process.

We are worried however about a number of developments, any of which, coming about would put our peace at risk. We promise to investigate and share with Ghanaians whatever we find of concern in the hope and belief that a bright light can stop mischief.

Today, I bring to the nation’s notice, our deep concern about the Electoral Commission. Like Caesar’s wife, the Electoral Commission must be seen to be above suspicion. Even in sports, it is when the people doubt the neutrality of the referee that mayhem erupts. The Electoral Commission is allowing doubt about its neutrality to seep into the nation.

The 45 Constituencies that the Commission is determined to create do not yet exist. Why then are the Electoral Commission’s officers illegally conducting primaries for the N.D.C. in the as yet non-existent constituencies? Why are they seeking to give unfair advantage to the N.D.C at the expense of the law abiding parties?

The Chairman of the Electoral Commission has categorically charged all parliamentary candidates to be in their constituencies to monitor and help with the smooth conduct of the exhibition of the voter’s register. He has stated that he does not want anyone coming to him afterwards to make any complaint about the register.

Why then is he putting pressure on the parliamentary candidates to abandon their constituency duties and be in parliament during the exhibition in order to get his C.I. passed?

Every Political Party is entitled to contest the new constituencies when they are created. Given that the parties all wish to do so and in obedience to their party and the National Constitution they want to organize primaries to be ready for filing in early October, can the Chairman and Commission guarantee they can meet their own Constitutional duty to conduct all the primaries in the same period that they will be doing their work on the new registers.

Registers which we need to have in place to enable the parties obey the law that candidates and those who vote for them in primaries are registered in constituencies which as yet do not exist?

Those N.D.C. members who have been elected as candidates for the proposed new constituencies have been illegally elected with the active connivance of the Electoral Commission. Simply, the constituencies do not exist and so can have no register. The constituencies do not exist so no one can be living in them or can hail from them. They don’t exist.

The chairman and the Electoral Commission are sending strong signals of potentially destructive bias. They must not allow themselves to be seen as ‘dancing’ to anyone’s tune. They must be above suspicion.

We call on all well-meaning Ghanaians to realize that this is not the N.P.P. crying wolf but bringing to your notice, for your action, something that could disturb our peace. We do not have to take any risk with our future just to put 45 more people into Parliament.

Let everyone tell the Electoral Commission and its Chairman that they cannot play “Had I known” with our peace and security. We do not need to gamble with our lives and our safety.

Signed

Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey

National Chairman

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