UN ends meeting on peaceful election in Ghana

Iddi Yire, GNA

Accra, Aug. 13, GNA –
Ahead of Ghana’s December 7, general election, a joint high-level mission of
the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU)
and the United Nations (UN) has ended a three-day meeting in Accra.

The Mission
comprised senior officials from the three institutions: Marcel Alain de Souza,
the President of the ECOWAS Commission and Mrs Halima Ahmed, the ECOWAS
Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security.

The rest were Aisha
Laraba Abdullahi, the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs and Dr Mohammed Ibn
Chambas, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa and
the Sahel.

Speaking at a news
conference on Friday, Dr Ibn Chambas noted that the principal objective of the
joint mission was to contribute in sustaining democratic governance in Ghana.

Dr Ibn Chambas said
the Mission sought to reiterate the strong support of the international
community for peaceful, transparent, and credible elections, develop an
understanding of the perspectives of Ghanaian stakeholders on key issues and
development ahead of the polls.

The rest are to
assess the risks of election-related violence and urge for a peaceful electoral
process, to explore options to further support dialogue and consensus by
stakeholders on critical issues, as well as gather agreement on all sides for
the organisation of a peaceful summit, which culminates in the signing of a
Peace Accord as a reaffirmation of the peace consensus.

He said, in the
course of the mission, consultations were held with the Chief Justice, the
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, the Minister of the
Interior, in the presence of the Inspector General of Police, senior leadership
of political parties, the Electoral Commission, the National Peace Council,
religious leaders, civil society organisations and media associations.

He said the joint
Mission obtained an expression of commitment from the political parties to sign
a Code of Conduct ahead of the December elections; which is similar to the 2012
Kumasi Declaration.

Dr Ibn Chambas
explained that signing the agreement would cement their commitment to peace,
before, during and after the elections.

He said, this would
send a good signal to Ghanaians about their intention to protect the nation’s
democracy, their respect for human rights and the cultivation of peace.

He said the Mission
was satisfied that the stakeholders were able to use legal channels to address
their concerns regarding the voters register; as a result there was a general
consensus that could be used for the general election.

He said as the
official campaign is being launched, the Mission expresses the hope that all
political parties would invest in the civic education of the population.

He said in
particular, the Mission noted the importance of increased participation of
women and youth in the electoral process.

Dr Ibn Chambas
stated that the Mission advises politicians to avoid inflammatory rhetoric in
their declarations, which could incite violence, and instead, focus on
issues-based campaigning.

He said the joint
Mission was proof of the international community’s solidarity with Ghana, a
country with a strong and rich democratic heritage.

“The ECOWAS, the AU,
and the UN are optimistic that through the efforts of all, Ghana will solidify
its democratic credentials and consolidate its well-earned status as a model
for credible elections and democratic governance,” he said.


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