General News of Tuesday, 21 June 2016
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, for West Africa and Sahel, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, has called on Ghana’s Electoral Commission to work closely with the political parties to ensure credible elections.
According to him, the ability of the EC to effectively address disagreements emanating from the political process in a “prompt, professional and restrained manner” would be crucial to the success or otherwise of the November 7 elections.
Also, he urged the political parties and all stakeholders in the electoral process to work together through inclusive consultations to build consensus with a view of ensuring the conduct of credible and peaceful elections.
In a statement published on the UN’s website, Ibn Chambas revealed that he had just concluded a fact-finding mission that saw him meeting with the EC, representatives of the various political parties, the Chief Justice, the National Peace Council, the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), Ghana’s International Parties as well as the media to fashion out how to achieve an incident-free election.
“I am very pleased with the outcomes of my various interactions, which have served to address specific concerns of the elections stakeholders as well as to discuss the steps which need to be taken in order to create the conditions for the successful conduct of credible, inclusive and peaceful elections,” he stated.
Security of the Election
Expressing concerns over statements that are prone to heat up the political discourse, Ibn Chambas observed that the overall security of the elections remained an area to be followed up closely to ensure that unregulated security bodies would not play any role in the electoral process.
The Director of Operations of the Ghana Police Service, Chief Superintendent Dr. Benjamin K. Agordzo earlier this year described the atmosphere leading to November 7 as enormously volatile.
He said during a program organized by the Center for Democratic Development in March under the theme: ‘Preventing Election Violence in 2016; Lessons from 2012’ the November 7 polls are extremely crucial and that if care was not taken it will be marred by violence.
“The stakes are very high,” he said lucidly.