Politics

Failed election petitions must attract punitive sanctions – Afari-Gyan

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A former chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, is proposing punitive sanctions against persons who are unsuccessful in election petitions they send to the law courts.

Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, in an address at the Constitutional Day Public Lecture organized by the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) Law School and the One Ghana Movement, indicated that such sanctions would deter people from rushing to court with election petitions.

“It appears that some candidates rush to court with election petitions alleging manipulation of results, primarily to placate their financiers and supporters so that they will be given another chance to be a candidate in the next elections,” he said.

He further expressed concern about the pressure and potential reputational damage such quick petitions have on the courts. He cited Nigeria as an example and suggested that measures should be taken to curb such instances in Ghana.

“The rush can cause undeserved injury to the reputation of the Electoral Commission and unnecessary inundation of the court. As we speak, there are over one thousand election petitions before the courts in Nigeria following the 2023 elections, and some of them will not be concluded before the next election.

“To prevent the rush to court with improbable election petitions from becoming a fashion, I suggest that election petitions that do not succeed should attract punitive sanctions.”

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