Commonwealth sends team to observe Ghana elections

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The Commonwealth has deployed a team of election observers to Ghana to keep watch during the country’s General Election slated for Monday next week.

The Commonwealth Observer Group is made up of politicians, diplomats and experts in law, human rights, gender and election administration from across member countries.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said the group was constituted following an invitation from the Electoral Commission of Ghana ahead of the December 7, 2020 election.

The team will be supported by Commonwealth Secretariat staff led by Prof Luis Franceschi, senior director of the Governance and Peace Directorate.

The group’s mandate is to observe and consider factors affecting the credibility of the electoral process as a whole by considering the pre-election environment and election preparations. Members will be deployed to various parts of the country where they will observe the voting, vote-counting and results procedures.

Election standards

The team will also assess whether the elections have been conducted in accordance with the standards for democratic elections to which Ghana has committed, with reference to national legislation and relevant regional, Commonwealth and international commitments.

“This team will assess the overall conduct of the process and make appropriate recommendations for the future strengthening of the electoral process in Ghana, even as the world battles the (Covid-19) pandemic,” said Ms Scotland.

She added that the Commonwealth has a long and proud history of standing in solidarity with citizens as they prepare to choose their leaders and in supporting efforts to strengthen democracy and the rule of law.

At the end of the election, the group will submit its final report for consideration by the Commonwealth secretary-general which she will, in turn, share with the government of Ghana and other stakeholders.

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