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General News of Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Source: XYZ

Justice Dotse’s critique of Afari-Gyan baseless - EC

Ghana’s Electoral Commission has rebuffed Supreme Court Judge, Justice Jones Dotse’s critique of its Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, as having withered his credibility through his poor handling of the 2012 elections.

"So far as I am concerned, Dr. Afari-Gyan has cut a very poor figure of himself, and the much acclaimed competent election administrator both nationally and internationally has evaporated into thin air once his portfolio has come under the close scrutiny of the Courts," Justice Jones Dotse observed in his judgment of the election petition verdict.

According to Justice Dotse, considering the magnitude of Dr. Afari-Gyan’s experience in organising elections since 1993, he was of the opinion that the EC boss is partly to blame for the many infractions of the Returning Officers, Presiding Officers and their assistants, and to some extent their printers.

However, the Public Affairs Director of the EC, Mr. Christian Owusu Parry, has told XYZ News that Justice Dotse’s criticism of Dr. Afari-Gyan lacks basis.

“…I disagree with that position…I don’t know of any election in the world anywhere, where there has not been one or two incidents”, he told XYZ News’ Presidential Correspondent, Kwame Danso Acheampong, on Monday September 9, 2013.

He argued that: “What is crucial is whether they affect the results so declared”.

According to Mr. Owusu Parry, “if a Presiding officer makes a mistake and that mistake does not go to affect the results in anyway, I think that those things can be considered normal and usual”.

“…So if the Chairman has been there since 1992, and I think this is about the fifth or so major election that he has presided over, and everything has gone well – even this one went very well – except that some of these mistakes were committed by the Presiding Officers, you cannot just use some petty mistakes made by some officials to pass a judgment on the competence of somebody who has successfully presided over such very sticky elections”, he insisted.

“It’s his opinion. I disagree”.