The Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, has urged the international community to be hopeful in the EC’s track record in the conduct of credible elections, ahead of the 2016 polls this December.
She assured that, the Commission has resolved to do everything in its capacity, to to deliver a credible, transparent and inclusive polls on December 7.
This is inspite of the current multiple lawsuits against the Commission for disqualifying some 12 presidential aspirants due to errors on their nomination forms. There have been fears the suits could affect the Commission’s timetable.
Speaking at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in the United Kingdom, Mrs. Osei said, “I am confident we will succeed. We have history with us; we have a reputation for delivery in Africa.”
She also expressed confidence in the EC’s recent re-branding and adoption of reforms saying, “I am convinced that our recent innovation and reforms have strengthened us, and have modernized us as an institution.”
Mrs. Osei expressed the hope that the reforms the Commission had embarked upon would empower it to deliver another credible election, that would help Ghana further consolidate its 24 years of democratic and electoral success.
Mrs. Osei recounted that, Ghana returned to a constitutional government and multiparty politics in 1992, and has since had six successful closely contested elections, that defied previous national trends and trends in the sub-region.
“So not only has Ghana managed to strengthen its own national trend since 1992, it has also defied the trends of regional politics. In the same period of time that we have held our six elections and consolidated our democracy in Ghana, our neighbours in ECOWAS, have suffered 14 coups, three civil wars, a dozen regional insurgencies and countless foreign interventions.”
Hold African politicians to higher standards
Speaking on the theme: “Ghana's 2016 elections: processes and priorities of the Electoral Commission,” Mrs. Osei further urged international stakeholders to begin to scrutinize African politicians for higher standards during elections, as this would help promote free and fair polls on the continent.
“We are in the 21st century. It is time for you as international stakeholders to begin to hold African politicians to a higher level of scrutiny discourse,” she charged.