Dec 7 polls: NDI election-observer team arrives in Ghana

Dec 7 polls:  NDI election-observer team arrives in Ghana

An election-observer team from the National Democratic Institute (NDI) has arrived in Ghana ahead of the December 7 polls.

The group which is supported by a grant from the United States Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, will hold electoral briefings to be addressed by “Ghanaian experts, political leaders, election administrators, representatives of civil society, as well as NDI staff.”

The 30-member team comprises Johnnie Carson, former assistant secretary for African Affairs at the U.S. State Department, J. Yvonne Mokgoro, former justice of the South African Constitutional Court, Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, senior associate and regional director for Africa of the NDI and Mr. Pat Merloe, senior associate and director of elections of the NDI.

Ambassador Carson said on arrival in the country: “The recent peace accord signed by all seven presidential candidates and the country’s consistent record of credible elections demonstrate Ghana’s reputation as one of the more established democracies in West Africa. We expect high interest at the polls on Wednesday and hope that Ghana will continue to lead by example.”

Below is the full statement from the team

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is fielding an international election observation mission for Ghana’s presidential and parliamentary elections on December 7.

The delegation includes 30 political and civic leaders, elections experts, and regional specialists from 14 countries. Leadership of the delegation is comprised of Amb. Johnnie Carson, former assistant secretary for African Affairs, U.S. State Department; Hon. J. Yvonne Mokgoro, former justice, South African Constitutional Court; Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, senior associate and regional director for Africa, NDI; and Mr. Pat Merloe, senior associate and director of elections, NDI.

“The recent peace accord signed by all seven presidential candidates and the country’s consistent record of credible elections demonstrate Ghana’s reputation as one of the more established democracies in West Africa,” said Ambassador Carson. “We expect high interest at the polls on Wednesday and hope that Ghana will continue to lead by example.”

The objectives of the NDI delegation are to provide an accurate and impartial assessment of the administration and character of the election process in Ghana, and to demonstrate the support of the international community to Ghanaian efforts to strengthen democratic processes in their country.

During their stay in Ghana, the observers will participate in briefings on Ghanaian political and electoral processes from Ghanaian experts, political leaders, election administrators, representatives of civil society, as well as NDI staff. Delegates will deploy in two-person teams to regional capitals across Ghana to meet with election administrators, parliamentary candidates, domestic observer groups, and political and civic activists in these localities. On election day, observers will visit polling sites in their area of deployment to watch the voting, tabulation of results, and other aspects of electoral proceedings.

“As the last African country to hold national elections of 2016, all eyes are on Ghana,” said Dr. Fomunyoh. “We hope that the voices of citizens will be heard, as Ghanaians deserve nothing short of meaningful and peaceful polls.”

The NDI delegation will hold a press conference on Friday, December 9 in Accra. At that time, NDI will issue a report with the delegation’s findings and recommendations on steps that could enhance confidence and participation in the election process.

The mission is supported by a grant from the United States Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

 

 

By: Edwin Kwakofi/ghanadecides.com/Ghana

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