Election observers urged to be neutral

Election observers have been asked to be neutral and professional on election day.

They should ensure that they confer with presiding officers and not to interfere in the electoral process.

A former Principal Electoral Officer, Mr. Anthony Ekpedzor said this at a capacity training workshop for Catholic observers of the Accra Archdiocese on Saturday.

The programme organised by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference with support from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation was to sensitise the participants ahead of the elections.

Mr Ekpedzor said elections were important event that require total commitment, objectivity, fairness and loyalty and as observers, their role was to observe and note every occurrence and not to question electoral officers, the electorates or party agents.

He said their report would aid the Bishops’ Conference to come out with a comprehensive report and that taking sides or prejudice before or during that day would not give a true reflection of what the Bishops’ Conference would arrive at.

He said every official on election day had a role to play and there was no need to interfere to perform someone else’s duty including that of security officials.

Mr. Ekpedzor said people tried to do the right thing especially with the presence of observers saying their role was key at ensuring transparent, free and fair elections.

The Director of Governance, Justice and Peace Directorate of the National Catholic Secretariat, Rev. Fr. Clement Kwesi Adjei, said the Catholic Church had been a key stakeholder in the previous elections where it dispatched observers across the country to monitor the elections.

This year for instance, he said, 1,500 observers would be deployed across and that the workshop was to educate them on the dos and don’ts before and on the election day.

He asked them to be vigilant and meticulous in the discharge of their work.

Mr. Clarke Noyuro, member of the Justice and Peace committee at the St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Kpehe and member of the organising committee warned the observers not to take food from anybody especially political party representatives.

‘Do not try to settle any misunderstanding and in the event when the situation become tensed please leave the place immediately,’ he advised.

 

By Francis Asamoah Tuffour          

 

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