Diasporian News of Thursday, 25 October 2012
PRESS STATEMENT BY NPP GERMANY
Why Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan Should Resign
For more than two decades Ghana´s Electoral Commission under Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan gained international respect and recognition for successfully conducting five credible and peaceful elections in a continent where post-election violence is the norm rather than the exception.
This international recognition whether real or perceived gave further impetus to Ghana as a beckon of democracy with an open and transparent electoral process supervised by an independent, impartial and non-partisan Electoral Commission.
However, the arrest of two senior officials of the Commission Mr. Isaac Asumenin(Director of Elections) and Mr. Asante Kissi (Director of Logistics) for allegedly extorting money and taking bribes from Prophet Daniel Nkansah, Leader of the New Vision Party raises doubts about the neutrality and independence of the Commission.
NPP Germany would want to put on record our disappointment and apprehension concerning this unfortunate development which we believe has caused an irreparable damage to the image and reputation of the Commission. More worrying is the fact that this is happening at a time when we have less than two months to go into an elections in which the stakes are very high indeed. Also the officials involved in the alleged bribery scandal are not lower or middle level staff but highly placed senior officers who wield a lot of power and influence in the Electoral Commission. By virtue of their positions within the Commission, these officials are required and expected to leave above reproach and demonstrate the highest level of integrity in the performance of their duties and the execution of their responsibilities at all times.
We wish to state categorically that our intention is not to prejudge the outcome of the ongoing investigations which we trust will be thorough and in-depth enough to uncover the full and complete truth. The guilt or otherwise of the two suspects can then be determined by a court of competent jurisdiction acting in accordance with the law.
While we will want to allow the law to take its course, it must be pointed out that the Commission under the leadership of Dr Afari Gyan cannot stand the test in the court of public opinion as a result of the harm inflicted and the disrepute caused to the once-respectable Commission .Like any other public institution, the Electoral Commission, to a large extent depends on public support and cooperation to carry out its constitutional mandate both effectively and efficiently. This in turn requires public trust and confidence which unfortunately have been eroded by this scandal.
Clearly the arrest of the two suspects in our view is an indictment on the leadership of Dr Afari Gyan for his failure to exercise the proper supervisory role over his subordinates. His position as the head of the commission has therefore become untenable and the most honorable course of action is immediate resignation as chairman of the Electoral Commission.
Finally, we are by this statement calling for the immediate suspension of the two suspects in the persons of Mr. Isaac Asumenin and Mr. Asante Kissi. Their continued stay in office only further goes to erode the little confidence left in the Electoral Commission.
Director of Communications
Tel.0049 152 13481859