“I have been pronounced dead several times. One day, while on my farm, I received a call from a journalist who said my voice was sufficient assurance that I was not dead,” he said at a stakeholders’ meeting to review Election 2012.
Dr Afari Djan said some radio stations said he had become so lean that he did not want to attend the election petition hearing at the Supreme Court and a message posted on the web “wishes I grow to be 100 years old but with a rotten head.”
He said the 1,500 permanent staff of the EC did not conduct elections and that elections are conducted by Presiding Officers and Returning Officers engaged temporary by the Commission to conduct the elections.
Dr Afari Djan said the longest Presiding Officers stayed on the job was three days while the Returning Officers stayed on for three months, adding that the EC would not know the motives of the temporary officials who it engages and trains to conduct the elections.
He said so many of the temporary officials nevertheless work diligently and “we must be thankful for this. Allegations should therefore be put in context.”
Dr Afari Djan said the country must bear collective responsibility for ensuring the credibility of its elections and reduce the high suspicion associated with them and he looked forward to the day when the political parties themselves would conduct the general elections with the EC called to observe those elections.