Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, a former commissioner of the Ghana Electoral Commission, has counseled political parties to guarantee the hiring of people with experience in electoral procedures as polling agents.
He maintains that political parties should rely on qualified individuals rather than those who might incite violence as polling agents.
“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,” In a story from Dailyguidenetwork.com, Mr. Gyan is cited.
The former EC executive who spoke on February 8 at a lecture hosted by the Rotary Club of Accra West further informed the audience about the importance of pink sheets.
In Ghana, we refer to it as the pink sheet. He said that declining to sign it 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.
On election day, he said, “I have said many times that given the significance of pink sheets, I think nobody is too big to serve his or her party as an agent.”
All of Ghana’s elections held in accordance with the 1992 Constitution and Fourth Republican administration were under the direction of Dr. Afari-Gyan until his retirement in 20015.