Credibility Test For The Chairman
7/20/2012 4:30:31 PM -
Until now, the Dr. Afari-Gyan-led Electoral Commission (EC) could hold its head high. It could do so counting on the respect and trust of the Ghanaian electorate because of its past performance.
Unfortunately however, the records upon which such trust hinges stand the risk of being obliterated by current avoidable goofs and impunity by the Chairman.
If his previous remarks that his is to count ballots, regardless of negative circumstances of ballot box snatching by thugs and other criminally-inclined activities, were pardoned, his rush to have laid before Parliament the Constitutional Instrument (CI) on the creation of more constituencies would not receive similar charity.
The standards of measuring the independence of a truly independent electoral commission are beginning to show signs of stress this time round or so it seems, as the EC breaches critical constitutional norms with the impunity of a bad politician. How he has suddenly changed in nature, a departure from his previous near perfect state, has set many wondering what has gone wrong.
Having come this far, it would be regrettable if Dr. Afari-Gyan would lose his credibility to the dictates of the ruling party and throw the integrity of our watershed elections in December to the dogs.
The EC must redeem its image before it is too late to do so. With questions being posed about the EC's credibility, Dr. Afari-Gyan should rise above the challenges to retain the record he chalked in previous polls. Our judgment of his performance would be dependent on how he manages the 2012 polls and not those already confined to the chapters of our history books.
The credibility of any polls depends, among other factors, on the trust the refereeing body deservedly earns from the electorate.
Where the confidence of the people in the EC as the refereeing authority starts slipping as elections beckon us, our apprehension becomes justifiable.
We recognise the unprecedented amount of money earmarked for the 2012 elections just so the exercise will be credible and devoid of questions about credibility.
When after spending so much the elections fail a credibility test and push the country to the brink, we would have wasted so much money for nothing and even given democracy a bad name in order to hang it.
The EC Chairman is reminded about the dangers in pandering to the dictates of one of the players in the electoral match or contravening laid down procedures in undertaking his mandate. He has a duty to preside over the elections with the fear of God and love for country.
The court action against the EC would have been unnecessary had the Chairman shown respect for procedures and, above all, the rule of law and held on as the court decides on the legality of the creation of more constituencies.
It is yet another opportunity to test the rule of law as the case comes up for adjudication and when we cross that bridge, we would be able to determine whether we have moved another rung on the ladder of good governance and democracy or not.