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Opinions of Friday, 27 November 2015

Columnist: Daily Guide

Unholy matrimony

Opinion Opinion

One of the factors accounting for the lost face of the Electoral Commission (EC) is the misconduct of the establishment’s director of operations, Amadu Sulley. It adds to others which rob the EC of the deference an entity of its status should not lose.

As Director of Operations, he has come to represent the negative impression most Ghanaians have about the establishment.

As a top man of the Commission, he has done little or nothing to project the image of the EC; he rather appears to savour his undercover flirtations with the ruling party.

Some years ago he was at the forefront of a clandestine workshop for National Democratic Congress (NDC) operatives at Shai Hills. That was close to the 2012 polls and it attracted the umbrage of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). He has not shown any remorse for his anti-transparency conduct as he basks in the support of the ruling party – his mentor.

His name has resonated once more on the political terrain after a lull over allegations which are so serious that were it to be under democratically civilised and advanced democracies, he would have resigned his position. In a part of the world where such resignations to prove a point is alien, he can afford to stay put in office unashamedly since that inures to the advantage of the ruling party.

He is alleged to have been contracted by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to print identity tags for the party’s recent countrywide primaries – an allegation which went unanswered until the Director of Elections of the NDC intervened with an explanation.

The explanation interestingly did not clear the cobwebs but rather triggered more questions, none of which can be addressed by either party.

All efforts to restore the image of the EC would come to naught if the conduct of top personalities such as Amadu Sulley would maintain this immoral course.

No EC worth its salt can afford to be bereft of the trust of the electorate. Unfortunately, the EC lacks this attribute and continues to operate as though its independence includes the abuse of the ethics underpinning its survival.

Being a public institution, one thing it cannot afford to do without is the confidence of the people. Such a lack of confidence is a deficiency which would lead to a sneering of election results by the electorate who cast their votes.

It is beyond comprehension why a ruling party would contract an EC to print its identity tags. What other deals are there which Ghanaians are not aware of?

Any bond between the EC and a ruling party, be it the NDC, the NPP or the CPP, is unholy and should be condemned. Elections, being important aspects of democracies, must be protected from the shenanigans of bad governments who, fearing that when they lose power details of how they looted the state kitty would be put in the public domain, employ all the tricks of the dirty game to ensure their survivability.

Going into an election with such characters in-charge of crucial departments of the EC can only trigger avoidable questions of integrity.

Considering what discredited elections have cost countries in terms of civil strife, no efforts would be too much towards ensuring the sanctity of the EC.