Immediate past chairman of the Electoral Commission Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan has been paid glowing tribute at a ceremony recognizing his over 20 years of service at the Electoral Commission.
At the ceremony, President John Mahama, conferred the Companion of the Order of the Star of Ghana on the former EC boss for his “transformational leadership”.
The Companion of the Order of the Star of Ghana is the highest of national award categories. There is the Officer division and Member division and the three divisions of the Order of the Volta.
Afari-Gyan now joins the class of recipients like the late Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, the late president Prof. John Evans Atta Mills who was also a former Vice President.
NPP flabearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene who was Chairman, Committee of Eminent Persons for Resolution of the Dagbon Chieftaincy issues all received the award in 2008.
A citation presented to Afari-Gyan read in part;
“Under your able leadership Ghana has recorded significant and progressive reforms in our electoral process. We have moved from the era opaque ballot boxes to transparent ballot boxes, from thumb printed voter identification cards to photo identification cards, from black and white ID cards to coloured one, from manual registration to biometric registration.”
It also said Dr. Afari-Gyan is held in high esteem all over the world.
The solemn ceremony attended by families and friends of the awardees was without speeches.
Dr Afari Gyan declined to speak to newsmen.
But political party leaders including the chairmen of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Paul Afoko and the Peoples National Convention (PNC) Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan spoke to JOYNEWS about the award conferred on Dr Afari-Gyan.
“He has served his country, I will leave judgment to posterity,” Paul Afoko said.
He praised Afari-Gyan for overseeing the electoral process that saw two political administrations lose elections to the opposition.
Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan said Afari-Gyan created the Inter-Party Advisory Committee which allowed representatives of the various political parties to interact with him and also make greater input in the running of elections.
“There was a problem so he created this platform so that we can be talking to each other and that broke the ice and we became so close,” he said.
He also praised the former Electoral Commission chairman for his tough stand at IPAC meetings, acknowledging that if Afari-Gyan had accepted every opinion or suggestion from the political parties, it would have destroyed the independence of the commission.
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