EU election observation mission unhappy about unaddressed recommendations


The European Union (EU) Election Observation Follow-up Mission has expressed disappointment with the failure of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana and other relevant stakeholders to address some key recommendations offered post-previous elections. 

According to the follow-up mission, it is unfortunate that out of the about 18 recommendations offered, the EC now appears to have the intent to address six, albeit the very necessary legal reforms remain unaddressed.  

Chief of Mission and Member of European Parliament (MEP) Javier Nart stressed the need for legal reforms on issues, such as political financing – including the misuse of state resources, increased participation of women in political life, a more inclusive process for nomination of electoral commissioners, and the management of petitions for parliamentary elections.

 “The recommendations offered by an EU Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) are an integral part of its work. When recommendations go unnoticed and unaddressed for multiple electoral cycles, it puts into question the value of the observation effort and the valuable work of citizen observers.

“We could not help but notice that EU recommendations have received no attention from the main political parties, including Parliament, although the report was shared extensively with their leaderships,” he said.

However, he maintained that the EU will continue to support and work together with Ghanaian stakeholders, striving to strengthen democracy; and as there is still time before the elections, believes that the implementation of the recommendations can contribute to further enhancing transparency, inclusiveness, and credibility of elections in Ghana.

The Chief of Mission emphasised that it is also imperative for the EC and political parties to have a collaborative and inclusive approach to facilitate constructive discussions and help mitigate potential tensions already during the run-up to the polls. 

Mr. Nart mentioned that his team’s visit to the country is to raise awareness of areas where electoral reforms remain unaddressed, and assess the status of implementation of EU recommendations offered by the 2020 EU Electoral Observation Mission (EOM).

Reiterating the need to implement the recommendations, he indicated that this will give assurance of transparency and boost public confidence. “We continue to stress the importance of transparency and inclusivity in the management of the electoral process, which is critical to enhancing public confidence. But a number of issues requiring legal change remain outstanding, which highlights a lack of political will in particular from the political parties to take forward the necessary legal reforms,” he stressed.

The EOM mentioned that some of these recommendations also followed from the 2012 and the 2016 elections; and therefore, failing to address the issues is a failed opportunity for Ghana.

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