Ghana attends C’ wealth Electoral Network confab

Ms Charlotte Osei,EC boss

Ms Charlotte Osei,EC boss

Ghana is expected to take part in the Commonwealth conference for heads of election commissions, which will take place in Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday and Friday.

The 2016 Commonwealth Electoral Network (CEN) biennial conference will focus on advancing good practices and principles for elections, according to the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.

The CEN, which was established in May 2010 in Ghana, after it was first endorsed by Commonwealth Heads of Government in 2009, seeks to help share experience, create peer support mechanisms and embed good electoral practices in the Commonwealth’s 53 member countries.

The CEN will address contemporary priorities and challenges faced by electoral commissions, such as ensuring equal access for all, including women and minority groups, the regulation of election campaign finance, and managing the power of incumbent governments.

It will also provide a platform for electoral commissions to exchange knowledge, boost capacity-building and maintain their independence, while at the same time look at emerging issues such as the use of new technologies including social media.

Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Josephine Ojiambo, said: “Election management bodies carry the hopes and indeed the legitimate expectation of voters. Our Commonwealth citizens rightly demand credible elections and results that reflect their common will. Democracy is a hard-won goal which demands guiding principles and good practices.”

She said “We look forward to advancing further these principles and practices together in the Commonwealth at this conference, setting a compass bearing for the wider world as we do so.”

Mark Ramkerrysingh, Chairman of the Elections and Boundaries Commission of Trinidad and Tobago, said: “The Commonwealth Electoral Network is an important body in developing the capacity of electoral management bodies in the Commonwealth for the conduct of fair, credible and inclusive elections.

“It has also proven itself useful in providing a forum for the sharing of experiences among electoral management bodies which leads to an improvement in the functioning of these bodies which are so crucial to our democracies.

“We therefore look forward to the 2016 Biennial Conference with the expectation that it will further the vision and the purpose of the CEN.”

The last Biennial Conference was held in Nairobi in 2014.


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