The 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections were not only organised in an efficient manner but it also took place in a peaceful atmosphere, the preliminary findings of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) has said.
However, shortcomings identified by previous EU EOMs, mainly relating to the transparency of campaign finance and misuse of state resources, still persist, the Chief Observer Javier Nart said at a press conference yesterday. “These were positive elections,” said Mr. Nart, a member of the European Parliament from Spain, noting that polling took place in a polarized environment.
Presenting the EU EOM’s preliminary statement, the Chief Observer said that on election day, the vast majority of EU EOM observers positively assessed the voting process and the election environment. “Ghanaians voted freely, and while there were isolated violent incidents on election day and during the campaign, fears of violence and vigilantism fortunately did not materialise.”
The Chief Observer, Mr. Nart also stressed that unregulated campaign finance, the reportedly common practice of vote-buying, and the prevalent misuse of state resources for electioneering purposes did not contribute to creating a level playing field among contestants. “It would benefit future elections in Ghana if these issues were addressed,” he said.
“And, for the first time, we had a woman running as a vice-presidential candidate. However, our mission has also noted that women are significantly underrepresented in Ghanaian politics, and this issue should be addressed as a priority,” he further pointed out. On election day the EU EOM deployed some 80 observers throughout the country. The mission arrived in Ghana on 31 October, and will remain to observe post-electoral developments.
The Chief Observer emphasised that the electoral process was not yet over, and that the findings of the EU EOM were preliminary in nature. In about two months Mr. Nart will return to Ghana to present a more comprehensive final report containing recommendations for improving the quality of future elections.