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General News of Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Source: gbcghanaonline.com

IPAC can't be a statutory body - Political parties disagree with Afari-Gyan

Former Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan Former Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan

Former Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan has disagreed with a proposal to make the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) a statutory body with its functions backed by law.

According to him, changing the role of IPAC from an advisory body whose functions are backed by law would interfere with the independence of the EC, as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution.

Nathaniel Nartey sought the views of some political parties on the issues raised by Ghana’s longest-serving EC Chairman.

Founder and Leader of the All Peoples Congress, APC, Hassan Ayariga said IPAC has not been effective in the past, a reason why presidential candidates and high-ranking members of Political Parties fail to attend meetings.

He said making the IPAC a statutory body would help to improve the work of the EC. Mr. Ayariga promised to attend meetings if such a reform is considered and implemented.

“We have had several engagements with the EC where we made several proposals that would have benefited our country but they denied them because we are just an Advisory Body.

"You hardly see a presidential candidate attending any IPAC meetings because when you give advice they won’t take, even the General Secretaries and National Chairmen have stopped attending. I will definitely go for the IPAC meetings if they make IT A Statutory Body,” Ayariga stressed.

Other political parties such as the CPP and LPG say it is possible to make IPAC a statutory body without interfering with the independence of the EC.

General Secretary of the Convention People’s Party, CPP, Nana Yaa Jantuah said the current nature of IPAC makes it irrelevant to the electoral process.

“I believe that when we do the legislation it will not infringe on the independence of the EC but at the same time making the IPAC relevant and strong. I think some legislation will be good, but it can be legitimate within limitations where the independence of the EC will be sacrosanct,’’ according to Nana Yaa Jantuah.

Director of Communications of the Liberal Party of Ghana, LPG, Samuel Owusu Afriyie called for further deliberations by political parties and stakeholders on the matter.

“It can be made a statutory body with limited powers, the suggestion by Dr. Afari Gyan is not bad, but we the political parties need further deliberations on the matter,” according to Samuel Owusu Afriyie.

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