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Opinions of Friday, 21 June 2013

Columnist: Atiase, Franklin Kwaku

Election 2012 irregularities insignificant

CHRAJ: Election 2012 irregularities insignificant to affect results

By Franklin Kwaku Atiase

Accra, June 20----- The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) said although there were some irregularities and challenges during Election 2012, they were not significant enough to affect the outcome of the results.

The Commission therefore noted that in spite of the irregularities, the elections were free, fair, and reflected the will of the electorates.

CHRAJ stated in its report titled: “Ghana’s Elections,” signed by its Commissioner, Mrs Lauretta Vivian Lamptey, posted at website: www.chrajghana.com which also described the electioneering campaigns as generally peaceful.

According to CHRAJ report, the polling processes on December 7 and 8, counting, collation and certification of the results at the polling stations were done in a transparent manner.

The Commission therefore congratulated Ghanaians for turning out in large numbers to exercise their franchise and for the patience exhibited in the light of challenges including those involving the verification machines.

CHRAJ said the conduct of Election 2012 demonstrates that Ghana has organised the sixth in a row of successful polls under the fourth Republican Democratic Constitutional era, "Ghana indeed is the beacon of Democracy in Africa".

The CHRAJ report said despite the few hiccups experienced, “we can pat ourselves on the back for keeping the democratic trajectory. The Commission takes the opportunity to commend the Electoral Commission, the security forces and all stakeholders for organizing yet another successful Presidential and Parliamentary Election in the country.

“We take the opportunity to congratulate the President-Elect and all Members of Parliament-Elect as well as all Contestants and their supporters for a generally peaceful election and wish to emphasize that Ghana is the winner in this election”.

According to CHRAJ as part of its mandate to promote and protect fundamental human rights and freedoms in Ghana, the Commission, monitored the right to vote and observed the 2012 general elections which took place on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 December, 2012.

The report said the Commission therefore joined other organizations including the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), Media Foundation for West Africa and other Observer groups from the Commonwealth, the African Union and the Economic Community for West Africa States (ECOWAS) in a broad effort to enhance the credibility of the elections and maintain peace and stability in the country.

According to the Commission, prior to the polling day, it trained its staff to monitor campaign activities of political parties and candidates in all regions and districts in the country. The Commission also monitored the media, especially its reportage of campaigns and other political party activities.

“The Commission, with the assistance of the Electoral Commission (EC) also trained and deployed three hundred and thirty five (335) Observers on the polling day, December 7, led by its Commissioner, Ms Lauretta Vivian Lamptey,” the report stated.

The Commission said it observed about 2,000 polling stations including polling stations located in some prisons. The Observers applied a standard checklist designed for the exercise.

According to CHRAJ from analysis of reports from its observers across the country, the Commission was in the position to issue the Preliminary Report on the right to vote in Ghana.

The report focused on: “Campaigns, Media Performance and Polling,” “challenges to the enjoyment of the right to vote observed”.