General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, says the position of the longest serving Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Afari Gyan on the NDC’s proposal for a law to be enacted to back the role of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) does not come as a surprise.
According to him, Dr Afari Gyan has been consistent with his position on the issue of empowering the operations of IPAC with a law as he has always disagreed with other political parties during his time in office when the same issue cropped up.
Reacting to Dr Afari Gyan’s position on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia‘ Morning Show, General Mosquito as he is popularly called, however said there is already a divided opinion on what Dr Afari Gyan disagrees with.
“The one he said he disagrees with; we have a divided opinion about it. One side is saying that any form of legislation to IPAC will reduce the independence of the Electoral Commission (EC). The other side is also saying that it depends on the type of legislation,” he noted.
He reiterated that it is premature for anybody to conclude that the law that is being proposed by the NDC would affect the independence of the EC.
“What are the specifics in the legislation that will reduce the independence of the EC? Nobody has come out with the conditions that will reduce the independence of the Electoral Commission. So, if there is a law to say that only three parties should attend IPAC meeting, how does this affect the independence of the Electoral Commission? You might see the law first before you can conclude that it will affect the independence of the EC,” he argued.
He was of the view that the law can be carefully crafted to protect the independence of the Electoral Commission just as Ethiopia has done to back the activities of their similar body like IPAC in Ghana.
“If the EC has recognised that they need external input, and if we attach a law to back the way we will generate that external input, how does that affect the independence of the EC? This is because it is up to them to say that they need external input or not,” he wondered.