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Emergency synod to rule on Primate stalemate
by Justus Waimiri
 
CAPA 040416-4
April 16, 2004

[CAPA - West Africa] The Church of the Province of West Africa (CPWA) has stepped up its effort to resolve the stalemate that followed the election of a new Archbishop, and has sought an Episcopal Emergency Synod to give the way forward.

The extraordinary synod will decide whether the annulment of the election of Rt Revd Justice Akrofi as Archbishop was valid or not. The Provincial Secretary, Mr Nat Stanley, has written to the Dean of the Province, Rt. Revd Teliwa Johnson, asking him to urgently set a date for the meeting. However, Bishop Johnson has not responded.

If the special synod rules that the election was carried out according to the church’s constitution, then a fresh date will be set for the enthronement of Bishop Akrofi as Primate. Alternatively, the synod could decide that the election was flawed, and call for a re-election.

The enthronement of the new Primate was to be held on January 25, but was called off at the last minute after the legality of allowing the Accra Diocesan Chancellor to preside over the election was challenged.

According to the Church’s constitution, the election of a Primate is expected to be supervised by the Provincial Chancellor and the Provincial Registrar. However, neither of them was present when the election was held on September 7 last year.

The Provincial Synod has, however, argued that the Electoral College mandated the Chairman of the Transitional Team and the Chancellor of the Diocese of Accra, Mr S. Annancy, to preside over the elections.

The seat fell vacant after the immediate former Archbishop and Chairman of the Council of African Provinces of Africa (CAPA), the Most Revd Robert Okine, retired.

West Africa was notably not represented at the just concluded CAPA and Global South Primates meeting (April 14th –16th), which, however, noted the willingness of CAPA to mediate in the stalemate, should the Dean of CPWA require such assistance.