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General News of Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Source: Graphic.com.gh

CODEO deploys 700 election observers

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) is deploring 700 election observers throughout the country to observe the district level elections scheduled for today, September 1, 2015.

Five hundred of the observers will be stationed at selected polling stations, while the remaining 200 will be roving observers and will, therefore, move from one polling station to another.

A Co-chair of the coalition, Professor Miranda Greenstreet, who announced this at a press conference ahead of the election, said CODEO had early on recruited, trained and deployed 86 women as peer educators and long-term observers to 86 randomly selected districts.

Their role, she explained, was to sensitise the general public, but particularly the marginalised such as women, young people and persons with disabilities (PWDs) to the concept of local governance and the need for them to get involved.

Professor Greenstreet explained that the aim of the sensitisation activities was to whip up interest in the local government elections and also to help improve the representation of those marginalised groups in local governance.

She said CODEO, in collaboration with the Electoral Commission (EC), was able to build the capacities of over 3,000 aspiring assembly members throughout the country through the district-level capacity building programmes.

Professor Greenstreet noted with concern that citizens’ interest in local government elections had been abysmal, with some of them either not being aware of or not knowing much about the elections.

“Some members of the public also displayed limited knowledge of the concept of local governance and consequently the need for them to vote in the local government elections. CODEO equally expresses concerns with the delays associated with the conduct of this election and wonders if the delays do not have political and legal implications for our local government structures, their performance and governance,” she observed.

She encouraged all Ghanaians to go out and vote to make the election successful and said she was happy with the preparedness of the security agencies to provide the necessary security for the conduct of the polls.

Professor Greenstreet said CODEO was deploying technology to receive rapid reports from the observers through coded text messages via mobile phones at designated time periods.

She announced that a critical incident desk would be mounted at the CODEO observation centre, where reports about irregularities, disruptions and other negative incidents in the voting process received from the CODEO observers would be quickly processed and, if verified as valid, relayed to the security agencies, the EC and other relevant state institutions for prompt redress.

On post-election observation, Professor Greenstreet said CODEO would deploy observers in all the 86 working districts for the post-election period.

“The coalition will as well undertake advocacy to support the inclusion of more women, youth and PWDs in the composition of the 30 per cent appointment to the assemblies,” she further explained.