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General News of Thursday, 23 August 2018

Source: 3 News

Political parties now believe elections are won at polling stations – Afari-Gyan

Former Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan says political parties in Ghana now believe in his statement that elections are won at the polling stations.

He says a well-organised political party can know its overall performance in an election from the polling station results provided by its agents.

Dr Afari-Gyan cautioned, however, that it is not prudent for a political party to announce results ahead of the election-management body and such must be discouraged.

He said political parties which go ahead of the EC to announce results create “unnecessary tension and possible chaos”.

Dr Afari-Gyan was speaking at the 5th Accra Dialogue held at the premises of Media General on Wednesday.

Transmitted live across Media General platforms including TV3, 3FM, Onua FM, Connect FM, Akoma FM and online at 3news.com, the programme brought together key speakers including former Member of Parliament Samia Nkrumah to discuss the role of the Commission in consolidating Ghana’s democracy.

The programme was themed: ‘Consolidating Ghana’s Democratic Governance: The Role of the Electoral Commission’.

Dr Afari-Gyan reiterated that when he said elections were won or lost at the polling stations and not in the Commission’s offices, political parties were initially skeptical.

“[But] I think the political parties now believe it, judging from the way they are trying to organize themselves at the polling station level.”

Dr Afari-Gyan, who is Ghana’s longest serving Electoral Commissioner, made that marquee statement during the landmark election petition after the 2016 elections, the last he supervised.

He was speaking at the Accra Dialogue for the first time since leaving office in 2015.

He served as the Returning Officer for six successive elections that consolidated Ghana’s democratic credentials as a beacon of hope in Africa.