Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa, says it is critical that the Electoral Commission (EC) maintains high vigilance and impartiality throughout the electoral process, to consolidate the country’s democracy.
Speaking at a ceremony yesterday to outdoor TV3’s ultra-modern news hub in Accra, Dr. Chambas said, “the EC must expand consultations and communications with the political parties to ensure an open and transparent process”.
His comments come on the heels of recent legal suits filed against the Commission, after it disqualified 12 presidential aspirants for alleged errors detected on their nomination forms.
The Progressive People’s Party (PPP), National Democratic Party (NDP), People’s National Convention (PNC) and All People’s Congress (APC) are among the disqualified parties which have dragged the EC to court.
The PPP, however, on October 28 won its case when an Accra High Court ruled that its flagbearer, Papa Kwesi Nduom should be allowed to correct errors on his nominations form but the EC is challenging the verdict at the Supreme Court.
Dr. Chambas said the country’s democratic record over the years could only be maintained when key stakeholders in the electoral process played their respective roles with a high sense of responsibility, and placed the interest of Ghana above all other considerations.
He urged the Judiciary to expeditiously adjudicate all election-related cases brought before it, adding that, “time is of essence as the world turns its eyes on Ghana to conduct a free, fair and non-violent election”.
Dr. Chambas further entreated political party activists and their leaders to promote peace by desisting from trading insults, and rather campaign on issues and ideas. Touching on the media, he called for unbiased reportage and “clean airwaves” that would not fuel violence among the citizenry.
“The international community will support Ghana’s efforts to consolidate democratic governance. It all now depends on the December 7 polls in which Ghana must come out as the winner. We cannot let the world and Africa down”, he charged.
By Abigail Annoh