Commonwealth observers issue interim statement on Ghana 2016 elections

HE Thabo Mbeki delivering the Commonwealth Observer Group Interim Statement in Accra

As the people of Ghana await the final outcome of the elections, Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group, Thabo Mbeki, commended the country for its role in ensuring the success of the electoral process so far.

However, he called on all political parties and candidates to allow the Electoral Commission to announce the results of the elections as well as respect the will of the people.

Issuing the group’s interim statement in Accra, two days after Ghana went to the polls on 7 December 2016, he said that the Group’s overall conclusion was that the opening, voting, closing and counting processes at polling stations were credible, transparent and inclusive.

“The campaign was highly competitive and closely fought between the leading political parties. Local peace efforts by the National Peace Council and its partners are to be commended for bringing together the presidential candidates to sign a peace pact, known as the ‘Accra Declaration’, on 1 December 2016,” he said earlier today.

“At the signing of the peace pact, the presidential candidates declared their commitment to peace and to put the democratic aspirations of Ghanaians above all other considerations.  We commend peace messages that were conveyed ahead of the elections by several organizations including civil society groups, citizen observers and the youth,” he added.

The Commonwealth Observer Group has been in Ghana since 29 November. They were deployed to all ten regions of the country, where they observed the election environment and preparation of the polls.

An Advance Observer Team has been in the country since 16 November.

The final report will be completed before the Group departs on 13 December and will be made public at a later date.

Commonwealth Observer Group - Ghana General Elections 2016
Commonwealth Observer Group – Ghana General Elections 2016

The Commonwealth Observer Group was appointed by Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland following an invitation to the Commonwealth Secretariat from the country’s independent Electoral Commission.

Its members are drawn from 17 member countries from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific and is led by former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki

Since 1980, the Commonwealth has observed more than 140 elections in 36 countries. Commonwealth observers have contributed to the entrenchment of democratic practices globally by offering recommendations for practical action.

 

PR/Zainab Sa’id