CODEO launches National Information Centre

By Iddi Yire

Accra, Dec. 4, GNA – The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) and partners have launched a National Information Centre (NIC), the central point for the observer group to track election related incidents on December 7.

Accra, Dec. 4, GNA – The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) and partners have launched a National Information Centre (NIC), the central point for the observer group to track election related incidents on December 7.
The Centre would be based at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) for the duration of Ghana’s Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
Its objectives include: to coordinate data collection for the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) and provide a central point for coordination and collaboration with other stakeholders.
It would also serve as central location for communication and engagement with stakeholders and the public.
Speaking at the launch, Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu, Acting Chair of CODEO, noted that in executing their mandate to promote free, fair, credible and peaceful elections, CODEO since 2008, successfully employed the PVT methodology to independently verify the accuracy of election results.
He said for the December 7 polls, CODEO would deploy 4,000 Stationery Polling Station Observers, 275 Collation Centre Observers, and 305 Roaming Observers.
He noted that out of the 4,000 observers who would be stationed at sampled polling stations in all 275 constituencies, 1,500 would be PVT observers.
The Acting Chair further noted that these observers would submit regular reports which would be analyzed and the findings shared with key stakeholders and the public.
Mrs Stephanie Sullivan, United States Ambassador to Ghana, said Ghana had made considerable strides in democratic governance through the preservation of the rule of law.
She said Ghana was safeguarding democracy with a free press, and promoting the delivery of essential services to all its citizens.
The US Ambassador said for the upcoming elections to be successful, all concerned must foster an environment that respected the law and allowed for the free and unfettered exercise of the individual’s right to vote. She also encouraged the Media to engage in their craft safely and responsibly.
“It is paramount to the success of any democracy for institutions of national security and law enforcement to protect a free and responsible media environment, which allows the communication of facts upon which citizens can make informed decisions,” she added.
Major General Francis Ofori, Commandant of KAIPTC, also encouraged the media to be circumspect in their reportage, so that they do not create confusion before, during and after the December 7 polls.
He said he was aware that the Military High Command had disseminated instructions to the soldiers who were supposed to support the elections, and anticipated that there would be peaceful elections.
Dr Serebour Quaicoe, Director of Electoral Services at the Electoral Commission (EC), reiterated the EC’s preparedness towards the general election, and commended CODEO for taking steps to throw more light on the EC’s activities.
He said observers would not be able to cover all polling stations across and therefore requested that observers should not only concentrate on urban areas but spread to cover as many centres as they could.
Mr George Amoh, Executive Secretary, National Peace Council (NPC), said elections should not be a source of conflicts but a source of development.
He noted that there would be a winner and a loser in the upcoming election,adding if there was any cause for argument or petition, the Council had put in place mechanisms to help resolve them.

Mr Amoh was hopeful that no one would resort to violence as a means of addressing differences, saying, “that is the surest way we can keep the peace”.

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