Former commissioner of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan has advised political parties to ensure the recruitment of persons with knowledge in electoral processes as polling agents.
According to him, it is important for political parties to rely on competent persons as polling agents rather than those who can foment violence.
“Fortunately, in some elections I have seen some big people serving as agents. Don’t go and recruit nonentities to go and do the work at the polling stations, it is brainwork,” Mr. Gyan is quoted in a report by Dailyguidenetwork.com.
The former EC boss who was speaking at a lecture organized by the Rotary Club of Accra West on Wednesday, February 8, further educated the gathering about the significance of pink sheets.
He noted that “refusing to sign the pink sheet, as we call it in Ghana, does not automatically invalidate the election results.”
“Some candidates believe that if the agents don’t sign it means the results are invalid. Sometimes we are told that the candidates even tell the party ‘if I lose very badly don’t sign it’, thinking that it will be invalidated. No, refusing to sign the pink sheet does not automatically invalidate the election results.
“What does the law say? The law says if you are refusing to sign you must give reasons in writing at the polling station why you do not sign it and then the electoral commission will later look into the reason that you have given. If you have not written any such thing then ignore it.
“So it is important to remember that being an agent at the polling station is brainwork, it is not a brawl, it is not a fight, you are not going to fight at the polling station, it is brainwork, the person must understand what is going on so that he can raise these things.
“I have said many times that given the importance of pink sheets, I think nobody is too big to serve his or her party as an agent on election day,” he added.
Dr Afari-Gyan, up until his retirement in 20015 supervised all of Ghana’s elections held under the 1992 Constitution and Fourth Republican dispensation.