EC assures Ghanaians of transparent elections in 2020

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By
Iddi Yire/Eric Appah Marfo, GNA

Accra, Nov 30, GNA –
The Electoral Commission (EC) has given assurance to Ghanaians of a peaceful
and transparent general election in 2020.

Mr Samuel Tettey, a
Deputy Chairman of the EC in-charge of Operations, gave the assurance at the
launch of the STAR Ghana Foundation election 2020 Projects in Accra.

“The 2020 elections
can only be described as credible, peaceful and inclusive when it is
operationalised and implemented in a peaceful environment that facilitates the
active participation of all Ghanaians to express their supreme will in the
outcome of elections,” he said.

With funding from
DFID and the European Union, STAR Ghana Foundation is supporting 26 civil
society organisations  with nine million
Ghana cedis, aimed at increasing their effectiveness and citizens’ action
towards achieving credible, peaceful and inclusive presidential and
parliamentary elections in 2020 and a smooth transition subsequently.

Mr Tettey said Ghana
had conducted not less than seven successful general elections; and matters
such active citizenship for credible, visible and inclusive electoral
prosecution means a relevant issue with respect to the successful parading and
implementation of a successful 2020 election activities.

He said the EC as
part of its preparations towards the 2020 elections would continue to
collaborate with the relevant stakeholders to facilitate and enhance the
creation of an electoral environment that was free from impediments to the
enjoyment of the already enjoyed rights and freedoms in support and
encouragement of active citizenship.

Mr Tettey said the
EC would continue to involve citizens in elections in various ways including
creating awareness about the EC’s programmes, engagement with women groups,
NGOs and recruitment of competent poling officials.

“Some challenges
identified so far as active participation in the 2020 elections is concerned
include voter apathy, disregard for human rights and the rule of law, political
vigilantism and inadequate media reportage,” he said.

“The EC as part of
preparations towards the elections is also having some internal restructuring
and strengthening of institutions, for example the establishment of the legal
department to guide the activities of the Commission and create professional
and well trained officers.”

He said active
citizenship covers the rights and responsibilities of citizens and it was these
acts of citizens taking part in doing public good, that was an active citizens’
participation in culture, economic, social and political as well as on
national, regional and local basis; stating that “but in the context of
elections, what we can say is that without citizens’ participation, there
cannot be a meaningful electoral democracy”.

Mr Ian Walker, the
British High Commissioner to Ghana, who delivered the keynote address, appealed
to the Government to deal with political party vigilantism during elections
because it risks damaging Ghana’s global reputation as a stable democracy.

“Violence at
elections not only harms the Ghanaian people, it really risks damaging Ghana’s
hard-fought and well-earned reputation globally.”

Madam Diana
Acconcia, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Ghana, appealed for a level
playing field for all candidates and political parties in the country.

Mr Samuel Akuamoah
Boateng, Deputy Chairman in-charge of Operations, National Commission for Civil
Education (NCCE), said as part of efforts to increase the number of women
contesting for political positions in the country, there was a need for
stakeholders to consider reducing their filing fees.

Mr Ibrahim-Tanko
Amidu, the Executive Director of STAR Ghana Foundation said accountability and
responsiveness of the state, and arms of government, to citizens begin with
issue-based elections during which citizens were able to interrogate the
manifestos and campaign promises of candidates and political parties; which
provides a basis holding elected officials accountable.

“Supporting all
citizens to engage with and participate effectively in all stages of the
election process helps to deepen citizen ownership of the country’s democracy
and defend it.”

GNA

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