A Relieving Assurance

Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan has dialogued with one of the most important publics of the Electoral Commission (EC), leaders of the political parties or their representatives, in the countdown to the December 7 polls. The most outstanding outcome of the meeting largely out of the view and hearing of the media was the assurance by Dr. Afari-Gyan that he would be neutral and therefore not support any of the candidates. If jittery Ghanaians longed for a soothing assurance, this is it. We pray though that the EC Chairman whose integrity attracted its worst attacks yet would reverse the inappropriate impression he earned in the past few months by walking his talk. Confidence in an electoral commission by the electorate is an uncompromising factor if election results should be bereft of clouds hovering over them. Let the EC Chairman do the right thing and avoid playing into the hands of those who still doubt his integrity. Having supervised elections over the years, it would be unacceptable that Dr. Afari-Gyan would now throw the spanner into the works in the name of a so-called support for one side of the divide in the twilight of his occupation. We have always wondered why he would want to do that, given the negative repercussions of such a dastardly action on the country. Now, he has assured us and we would take him for his word. Ghanaians do not want anything short of integrity and political decency in the forthcoming elections. We have come a long way in our election management regime and would not want any blemish to becloud our score sheet. From the days of the opaque ballot box to photo ID and the biometric registration and verification system, we are definitely heading for the electronic voting in the not too distant future. Yesterday, Americans went to the polls in one of the keenest political contests in that country�s history. It offered critical and useful lessons for those of us who are still grappling with the little yet critical challenges of elections� propensity to cheat, corruption and buying of votes among others. We long for the days when elections would be devoid of attempts to cheat even by the main players who are supposed to impart discipline to their followers. We wish that someday approaching elections would not evoke a sense of apprehension and foreboding that something sinister could befall the country.