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I’m Unfazed By The Rabble-rousers…– Afari Gyan   
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Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, seems bent on going ahead with the proposed creation of the 45 new constituencies with barely three months to go for the December polls, insisting he is simply adhering to the constitution.

Dr Afari-Gyan says no amount of rabble-rousing can dissuade the commission from carrying out its legitimate duties.

The EC has come under incessant attack from the minority in Parliament, political parties, civil society groups and other members of the public, some of whom have filed suits challenging the legality of the creation of the new constituencies.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), former President J. E. A. Kufuor, a former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, and other Ghanaians, have stiffly opposed the creation of the 45 constituencies.

On Wednesday, a MOTION to seek an interlocutory injunction to restrain Parliament from approving a Constitutional Instrument (CI) by the Electoral Commission (EC) to create 45 additional constituencies was heard by Justice Julius Ansah, a Supreme Court judge.

The motion filed by Ransford France, an Accra-based businessman, against the EC and the Attorney-General, is seeking an injunction to stop Parliament from approving CI 78 until the final determination of a substantive suit he had filed at the Supreme Court challenging the creation of the new constituencies.

Mr France is challenging the power of the E. C. to go ahead with the creation of new constituencies without first laying before Parliament, a constitutional instrument indicating clearly the mechanism, formula or modalities by which it intended to undertake that exercise.

The applicant is of the view that if the court does not restrain the EC, based on certain illegalities, the electoral process could be thrown into chaos.

The lead counsel for the applicant, Joe Ghartey, former Attorney-General and the defence team made up of James Quarshie Idun, for EC and Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, the Attorney-General, argued on the controversial issue that has and is still dominating the nation’s political landscape.

The Supreme Court has fixed September 19th as hearing for the case.

But speaking on GTV’s Election Platform programme, the EC Boss reiterated that he will never kowtow to pressure groups’ demands in undertaking what he described as the Commission’s constitutional mandate despite the avalanche of criticism, and advised all who feel aggrieved with any decision by the EC to seek redress in court.

He dispelled the notion that the additional constituencies will increase the budget of this year’s election and will also make their work cumbersome, pointing out that logistics are in place for any such eventuality.

“If you have any constitutional issues, you would go to the appropriate place for solution…The rabble rousing will not resolve the issue…We won’t face any problem at all because as I said we are using the same number of polling stations…whether there are three or fifty constituencies, we are using the same number of electoral areas,” he said.

Dr Afari-Gyan, sandwiched between the Deputy Director of Public Affairs of Parliament, Miss Kate Addo and Operations Manager at CitiFM, Bernard Avle.
Sandwiched between the Deputy Director of Public Affairs of Parliament, Miss Kate Addo and Operations Manager at CitiFM, Bernard Avle, the head of the country’s electoral supervisory body said he was baffled at the way some politicians in the country pride themselves as democratic aficionados, yet oppose any decision by the EC even though it is in line with the constitution simply because it does not seem to favour them.

"The last time we created it, we had same accusation about favoritism and so on with regards to the thirty constituencies. Lo and behold, when the elections were held, the opposition (NDC) won sixteen and the government (NPP) that created the districts won only fourteen," Dr Afari-Gyan noted.

Touching on some anomalies that occurred, especially in the Ashanti Region, during the just-ended exhibition of the voters register, Dr Afari-Gyan stressed that all the discrepancies concerning certain missing names in the register have been rectified except in some few polling station centres.

According to him, only 20 out of the 4,700 polling centres in the region had problems.

“With regards to this biometric registration Ashanti region had 4,072 centres and only 20 had problems, first of all what is the reason for exhibiting the register, if we had a perfect document we wouldn’t not go and put it there…As at yesterday (Wednesday), of the 20 that had problems in Ashanti only one was outstanding,” Dr. Afari Gyan said.
Source: Chris Joe Quaicoe/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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