Aspiring New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament candidate for Korle Klottey Constituency, Phillip Addison, has advised the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, to jump ship even before his statutory retirement in June since “there is nothing new Afari Gyan can do.”
“He is so discredited [that] nobody trusts him. His time is up. I think he should step aside.”
Mr Addison, who was the lead counsel for the three petitioners in the eight-month long Supreme Court litigation on the 2012 election results, accused Dr Afari Gyan as the “stumbling block” to free and fair elections in Ghana.
“I believe that it is about time he stepped aside,” Mr Addison said.
The renowned lawyer was speaking on TV3’s Hot Issues on Saturday, April 11 when he made these remarks.
Dr Afari Gyan has superintended over Ghana’s six successive elections under the Fourth Republic with his expertise a sought-after on the continent.
His statutory retirement in June has generated public debate especially over who succeeds him though the 1992 Constitution makes it clear the President has the sole prerogative in consultation of the Council of State to do that.
“There certainly will be an opportunity for a grateful nation to express its gratitude to an illustrious son of the land, who has led a team of dedicated, and hardworking men and women over the last 23 years to guide our nation in one of the most delicate aspects of modern democracy-elections,” President John Dramani Mahama stated during his 2015 state-of-the-nation address to Parliament.
“As President of the Republic , let me on behalf of the people of Ghana express our respect for the dedication to work shown by Dr Afari Gyan. I have no doubt that his place in Ghana’s history is assured and he will be dearly missed when he finally retires this year.”
But Mr Addison, who cross-examined the Electoral Commissioner for more than a month during the landmark petition, said the Supreme Court should have taken punitive action against Dr Afari Gyan over the conduct of the 2012 elections.
“He is stubborn as he is now because he was not chastised by the Supreme Court when clearly he is the cause of all the problems we had.”
Financial loss to the state
Dr Afari Gyan’s swan song would have been the 2015 district level elections, which were declared unconstitutional by the Court.
Due procedure, according to the Court, were not followed by the Electoral Commission of Ghana. A new legislation has been laid in Parliament to get the process constitutional.
According to Mr Addison, the blame should be put at the doorstep of the Chairman of the Commission.
“You know the intransigence of the Electoral Commissioner. He recently again because of his intransigence he alone will not heed to any advice, goes ahead with the district level elections and look at the results another financial loss to the state.”