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General News Sun, 31 Mar 2019

EC won’t be here today if Afari Gyan, Charlotte Osei acted the way you did – Baako to Bossman Asare

Editor-in-Chief of the Crusading Guide Newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako has cautioned Deputy Commissioner of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Bossman Asare to follow in the stead of his predecessors and do better as regards his relations with individual political parties.

His comments come on the back of recent wranglings between the NDC and the Electoral Commission over an intended compilation of a new voters register for the electoral process in 2020.

The NDC following a notice served by the EC to the effect that it was set to compile a new voters’register for the next presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana after an agreement with the various political parties discredited the information. They called for a withdrawal of the communique, insisting that there was no such consensus.

Mr. Bossman in his response however publicly accused the NDC of engaging in “partisan wranglings...and if you like rantings”.

“We, the Commission we are not going to engage in any partisan pandering”

“If we at the Commission are convinced that the register is bloated, we will go ahead and do the right thing. That is why we are here”, Dr. Asare told Joy News Friday.

Addressing the issue Saturday on Newsfile however, Kweku Baako though chastised the NDC for trying to play mischief with the issues by raising suspicions, maintained that Mr. Bossman’s approach to tackling it was not the best.

He cited Former EC Boss, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan’s acknowledgement of the roles of political parties in ensuring a stronger Interparty Advisory Committee (IPAC).

“Afari Gyan appealed to the parties to at least have at least one permanent representative on IPAC to ensure consistency and institutional memory. He remarked that there had sometimes been tension at IPAC meetings due to the individual advantages that people expected but dialogue was always important as it brought about the best for all. He said IPAC will become stronger in the future because of the greater involvement and transparency it brings to the electoral process”.

For this reason he said, it is prudent that Mr. Bossman is circumspect about his actions and words considering particularly the fact that his predecessors better handled such situations when they were confronted with them in the past.

“The law is on his side when he talks about something not being binding on the commission relative to the exercise of his mandate but if we go through the history and what we’ve done with the election architecture, without IPAC, without the cooperation of the political parties, without the involvement of civil service organisations, I’m not sure this country will be where it is today”.

“He is liable to critique, not that it hasn’t happened before. There were times Afari Gyan was tough and hard. 2006, especially the NDC was complaining about bloated voters register. There’s a way to talk about it, if you knew they were going to come back to IPAC meeting, obviously, there was something wrong with the drafting here. If I were him, I won’t go about on air talking about my mandate being that iron rocked in the constitution, I will wait for them to come to an IPAC meeting and deal with it well”.

“Charlotte Osei and Afari Gyan had similar problems but Afari Gyan learnt how to handle it eventually, that’s the process I’m talking about. The EC has a higher responsibility not to engage in public ranting with the parties but the parties must bury the suspicions”.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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