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General News of Friday, 16 April 2021


EU Election Observer Mission presents 2020 polls report to Parliament

The European Union (EU) Election Observer Mission has presented its final report on the 2020 elections to the chairman of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Bryan Acheampong, in Accra.

According to the mission’s Chief Observer, Javier Nart, who led the delegation to see Mr. Acheampong, the elections were organised in an efficient, transparent, free and fair, as well as in a competitive manner.

He said the Electoral Commission (EC) completed technical preparations for the elections in a timely manner, adding that the observers assessed the EC’s national, regional and district structures as competent, well-resourced and transparent.

However, he pointed out a few shortcomings that needed to be addressed in future. Some of these were concerns about how the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) is generally appointed.

The mission advised that the process be properly looked into, saying that the appointments mechanism, whereby all seven EC members are selected by the President for an indefinite tenure without consultation with the opposition, is not inclusive and does not build confidence.

The mission’s report also flagged the high filing fees paid by candidates as a matter of concern, and also bemoaned the constantly increasing costs of and unlimited spending on election campaigns in Ghana.

“There are no limits on contributions or on spending, resulting in a lack of transparency and accountability around political and campaign funding. The EC did not enforce parties’ compliance with legal requirements on financial reporting. This further limits public scrutiny and transparency of political and campaign finance.”

“These recommendations are proposals for consideration by the Ghanaian people. They are suggestions aimed at improving future electoral processes and strengthening Ghana’s democracy, but it is up to the authorities and wider civil society to decide on their implementation,” said Mr. Nart.

Mr. Acheampong thanked the team and commended them for their work.

“I like the fact that the Union admits that the 2020 elections were efficient, free, fair, transparent and competitive,” he said.

He also assured the delegation that the report would be presented to the Speaker of Parliament, while a workshop would be organised to discuss the report and how best to implement the recommendations.

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