Politics of Friday, 7 December 2012
Source: The Accra Times
By-Mohammed Saani Ibrahim- The Accra Times
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers [CODEO] have indicted their readiness to credibly observe the upcoming December 7th General Elections on Friday and beyond.
The Coalition will deploy around 4000 Rapid Response Observers [RROs] to a representative sample of polling stations nationwide to observe the voting as well as counting of votes and declaration of results.
Speaking to both local and foreign journalist in Accra, on Thursday the CODEO CO-Chairman, Justice VCRAC Crabbe, announced that the observers who have been given the best of training are duly accredited by the Electoral Commission [E.C] to undertake the assignment which he referred to as important with competence and integrity.
Justice Crabbe further disclosed that CODEO will in addition deploy 500 volunteers to serve as roaming observers on the day of elections.’’ All CODEO volunteers will arrive at the polling stations at 6:00 am and will stay there till the end of the official declaration of the ballot count either at the polling station or the constituency collation center’’.
The Coalition will as was successfully done in 2008 employ the Parallel Vote Tabulation [PVT] methodology as part of its election observation on December 7th. The PVT methodology will allow CODEO to provide the most comprehensive and accurate account of the voting and counting process as well as the quality of the process across Ghana.
The CODEO Co-Chair further explained that the Methodology will enable his outfit to independently verify the accuracy of the tabulation process and the official Presidential results as declared by the E.C.
On her part Prof. Miranda Greenstreet, said previous elections conducted since Ghana’s return to multi-party democracy in 1992 have been acknowledged as progressively free, fair and transparent and that the upcoming polls offers Ghana the opportunity to further consolidate her democratic and electoral gains.
There is therefore the need for Ghanaians to sustain their former path as the success of the December 2012 polls will bolster the country’s record as a democratic nation and thereby create an enabling political environment for economic growth and prosperity for the people, she said.
She however pointed out notwithstanding the deficits and challenges in the political and electioneering periods, CODEO’s overall assessment of both the political and electoral environments leading to the December 7th polls is generally positive.
‘’ CODEO notes that the pre-election period has been relatively calm in spite of isolated incidents of election –related violence recorded during the year’’, she stated.
Prof. Miranda noted with satisfaction the creative efforts of civil society groups such as Institute of Economic Affairs [IEA] , Center for Democratic Development[CDD-Ghana], Media Foundation for West Africa[MFWA] amongst others and the Media to promote issue based campaigning , peacefulness and the overall credibility of the polls.
The Coalition equally commended the Ghana Police Service and the Election Security Task Force for their cooperation with CODEO to promote election peacefulness and enhance the security of the polls.
She indicated that the main challenge facing the country now is whether Ghana can hold another reasonably peaceful and transparent election which is credibly accepted by the main contestants.
Against this background, she specially appealed to all contesting political leaders and supporters to do all in their power to help maintain the peace in Ghana. CODEO further calls on all political parties to educate their supporters and entreat them to discourage minors from voting on Election Day.
She urged the Security Services to approach their duties with maximum professionalism and utmost respect to the constitution. The Media were urged to be circumspect in their coverage and reportage on the elections.
Prof. Miranda who is also CODEO’s Co-Chair, appealed to the E.C, Polling, returning and presiding officials to be firm and apply the electoral rules in an impartial and objective manner.
‘’ We ask all polling agents to respect the parties code of conduct and behave reasonably on the polling day by assisting EC officials to execute their duties effectively and efficiently and also urge Ghanaians and voters to conduct themselves properly on election day’’ she added.