A preliminary statement of the European Union Election Observation Mission Ghana 2020 delivered at a Press Conference by the Chief Observer Javier Nart on 9 December 2020, described the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary election process as well-conducted but characterized by misuse of state resources and unregulated campaign finance.

The statement further observed that the Legal framework generally provided for credible and competitive elections, but previously identified gaps remained unaddressed arguing that though Ghana has ratified all relevant international and regional instruments some restrictions remained to add that the Constitution demands that the number of inhabitants of each constituency should be, as nearly as possible, similar, however, there were marked disparities in the number of registered voters per constituency, affecting equal suffrage.

Further gaps in the legal framework identified by earlier EU Election Observation Mission remained largely unaddressed, such as the absence of any consensual method of appointing Electoral Commission members and no deadlines were introduced for the adjudication of parliamentary electoral petitions. The EU Election Observer Mission is independent in its findings and conclusions and adheres to the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation signed at the United Nations in October 2005.

Speaking to Apexnewsgh.com on the subject a long term observer on Team 19 with the European Union Election Observation Mission, Laura Erizi hinted that the European Union Election Observer Mission will later in January 2021 publish a final report, including full analysis and recommendation for electoral reforms when in two months’ time, the EU Election Observer Mission Chief Observer, Javier Nart returns to the country with a team of delegation to present the report. The statement has certainly generated some buzz with feedback and some comments coming in from local observers and the election administrators.

While acknowledging the feedback on their statement from local stakeholders, another long Term Observer with team 19 of the European Union Observation Mission Ghana 2020, Stoil Tzitzelkov expressed satisfaction at the level of work done by the team of observers.

Before the completion of the entire electoral process including adjudication of petitions, he indicated that the team will remain short in the country to monitor any further development. Stoil Tzitzelkov further observed that if citizens are well informed about electoral processes, there will be no need for International Observers to come to the country to monitor the general elections while urging citizens and encouraging persons not affiliated to political parties to be interested in the political lives of the country. Laura Erizi expressed appreciation to all stakeholders in the region that volunteered information to help them complete their 3-week assignment in all 15 constituencies in the region. She shared with Ghana Today the exciting journey and experience garnered throughout the stay in the Upper East Region.

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) has been present in Ghana following an invitation from the Government and the Electoral Commission led by Chief Observer, Javier Nart, a member of the European Parliament of Spain. In total, the Mission deployed 81 observers from 26 EU Member States, including Canada, Norway, and Switzerland across the country since November 1, 2020, and then observers had been in the regions since November 17, 2020, to assess the whole electoral process against international obligations and commitments for democratic elections as well as the laws of Ghana.

On Election day, the observers visited over 329 polling stations in 102 of the 275 electoral constituencies to observe voting and counting. Election Observation has become a feature of democratic elections as well as a key indicator of the credibility of elections necessitating continental, regional, and sub-regional bodies to form their groups to observe and monitor the election. In the run-up to 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Election, the Coalition of Domestic election Observers, CODEO deployed around 4,000 observers on election day, while the Institute for Democratic governance IDEG deployed some 700 observers.

In addition to our local election observers, a total of 20 teams of European Union Election Observation Mission Ghana 2020 arrived in the country to cover the 16 regions of the country: one team per region, with two teams in the bigger regions. 

Apexnewsgh.com/Ghana/ Contributor Prosper Adankai

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