Afari-Gyan cautions election observers against finding fault during polls

Former head of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, has cautioned election observer groups to desist from finding faults during elections.

He has urged to election observers to instead collaborate with election management bodies to achieve credible, transparent and peaceful democratic elections.

“As far as possible observe the voter registration period being the building block of an election,” he urged observer groups.

The former EC Chairman was speaking at a conference by Africa Election Observers Network (WAEON) in Accra on Tuesday.

“I hope you will keep in mind that election observation is not fault-finding but a fact-finding activity,” he admonished the election observer network.

Dr Afari-Gyan’s admonishing comes on the back of a recent disagreement between Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) and the EC.

CODEO clashed with the EC over the violence that characterised the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.

CODEO alleged that the low voter-turnout registered during the by-election can be blamed on the presence of masked men at polling stations.

Albert Arhin, the National Coordinator of CODEO, said the presence of the security officers created voter apathy and frightened voters to take part in the process.

The EC, however, rejected this observation.

Dr. Afari Gyan believes the mandate of election observer groups is to help deepen the countries democratic credentials and not to detect faults.

He also urged election management bodies to adequately improve the skills of their officials to avoid elections-related errors.

“Where officials are I’ll-prepared, biased or corrupt, technology cannot be used to achieve credible elections,” he stated.