General News of Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Source: GNA

Afari-Gyan says IPAC is not a statutory body

Takoradi, April 30, GNA - Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), said the Inter-party advisory committee (IPAC) was not a statutory body but a creation of the EC.

"Decisions of IPAC are therefore not binding on the EC," he said. Dr. Afari-Gyan said this at a day's IPAC forum on building stakeholders' confidence in the outcome of the December election.

It was organised by the EC and sponsored by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the KAB governance consult for representatives of all political parties in the Western Region. He said some political parties had been insisting on "bringing the EC to order" and complaints of non-implementation of IPAC decisions were misplaced and unconstitutional.

Dr. Afari-Gyan therefore appealed to the media to assist it in the discharge of its duties. He said the media must help uphold the rule of law and ignore individuals who attempted to announce election results before they are released by the EC.

"Such acts can lead to disorder, conflicts and election disputes and the media should not be party to it," he said.

The EC chief said all the seven commissioners of the EC are appointed by the President on the advice of cabinet and neither, the government, legislature no any individual could direct, change or instruct the EC on how to perform its functions.

He said this insulation provided by the 1992 constitution protects the commissioners from interference and allows them to work effectively.