The European Union Election Observation Mission to Ghana 2020 (EU EOM) has described the 2020 election as “efficiently organised, competitive, that voters participated freely in large numbers, and that the process successfully met a range of international standards.”
However, the team pointed out few shortcomings that needed to be addressed in future. Some of the concerns raised, included how the Chairpersons of the Electoral Commission are appointed.
The mission advised that the process be properly looked into.
They went on to lament the quantum of money paid by candidates as filing fee, stating those fees were exorbitant.
Furthermore, they also noted that only two out of their findings from the previous elections had been implemented.
The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, Mr. Bryan Acheampong, who received the report on behalf of Parliament thanked the team and commended them for their work. He expressed his satisfaction with the report.
“I like the fact that the Union admits that the 2020 elections were Efficient, Free, Fair, Transparent and Competitive.” He said.
Mr. Bryan Acheampong also assured the delegation that the report would be presented to the Speaker of Parliament.
“A workshop would be organized and also a stakeholder consultation will be held to discuss the report, and how best to implement the recommendation”. – he added
The European Union deployed an EU EOM to Ghana between October 31 and December 30, 2020. In total, the mission comprised 80 observers from EU member states as well as Norway, Switzerland and Canada.
The mission’s mandate was to assess the electoral process against international obligations and commitments for democratic elections as well as the laws of Ghana.
Mr Nart, who is also a Member of the European Parliament from Spain, explained that the mission had returned to Ghana to present the report to the country’s authorities, and to discuss with stakeholders the proposed reforms contained in the report.
“The EU EOM’s final report is a comprehensive assessment of the electoral process that builds on the initial findings of the preliminary statement, which was issued shortly after the elections in December,” he said.
Mr Nart said the final report contained 18 recommendations for future elections, eight of which were considered to be priorities. Over the coming days, the EU EOM will meet stakeholders from all areas of society with a view to initiating a debate on these suggested reforms.
“The priority recommendations ask for improved procedures for counting and collation, and for the publication of detailed results,” he said.
He said the team also suggested that an affirmative action law that would introduce a quota for women in governance of, at least, 30 per cent needed to be enacted.
He said regulations governing campaign finance were also required as well as effective sanctioning mechanisms against the misuse of state resources, adding that “improved regulation and monitoring of the media as well as effective implementation of the Data Protection Act are also addressed.”
“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,” he noted.