EU: Ghana remains one of the strongest democracies in Africa

The European Union (EU) Election Observer Mission rates Ghana as one of the countries with a robust democracy

The European Union (EU) says Ghana remains one of the strongest and prevailing democracies on the African continent after its free, fair and transparent eighth election since the coming into force of the 1992 Constitution.

According to the final report of the EU Election Observer Mission (EOM) on the 7 December Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, released on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, Ghana demonstrated through the conduct of its latest election that it has embraced the path of democracy as its way of electing leaders and deciding who governs the nations.

The EU’s chief observer who led the observer mission to Ghana, Javier Nart, in the report stated that the 7 December 2020 elections were competitive, efficiently organised and involved voters participating freely in large numbers.

“Our view that Ghana is one of the strongest democracies in the region remains unchanged,” the final report of the EU Election Observer Mission stated.

Recommendations of EU observer mission

Over all, the report made 18 recommendations for improving elections in Ghana, eight of which, were highlighted as priority recommendations. Firstly, the report recommended that a “clear procedures for presiding officers, returning officers and regional collation officers to be stipulated on how to proceed in cases of irregularities during the counting and collation process, including over-voting, mismatched reconciliation, incomplete and wrongly filled in result forms.

Secondly, the EU says the EC ought “to publish on its website detailed polling station results for all elections, as well as detailed results from all levels of collation well before the deadline for filing petitions against results. Thirdly, “enact and implement an Affirmative Action Law installing at least a 30 per cent quota of women in governance and decision-making positions, with a progressive increase to a parity of 50 per cent. Require political parties to adopt party quotas to promote women’s participation in politics.

Fourthly, “adopt a law on campaign expenditure and finance to enhance the overall transparency and accountability of political finance. The law to include establishing disclosure requirements of incomes and expenses for both parties and candidates and limits on expenditure and donations including for in-kind donations. Introduce effective oversight, sanctions and enforcement mechanisms that include a timely publication of all campaign finance reports, including online.

The fifth recommendation is “introduce an effective sanctioning mechanism against the misuse of state resources, including administrative and security apparatus during the election period. Sixth, “provide the NMC with sufficient resources to conduct media monitoring and properly oversee the work of the media.

Seventh, “limit the role of the NCA to administer broadcasting signals and transfer its licensing and sanctioning powers to the NMC in order to create one sole and completely independent media regulatory authority, in charge of allocating broadcasting licenses, analyzing broadcasting contents and dealing with media-related complaints and eighthly, “the mandate of the Data Protection Commission to be fulfilled in accordance with the Data Protection Act to ensure an effective system of data protection exists not only in law but also in practice”.

EU EOM Ghana 2020 Final Report by KM on Scribd

Outcome of 2020 Elections

The incumbent Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, of the governing party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, with 51.3% of the vote, ahead of his main rival—John Mahama, of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), an opposition party—who took 47.4% of the vote.

Mahama rejected the result, citing alleged irregularities, and filed a petition with the Supreme Court. On March 4th Ghana’s Supreme Court rejected this challenge, stating that the allegations of fraud lacked evidence, which the NDC subsequently accepted. Overall, the NPP and NDC are disputing the results in 16 constituencies, with eight challenges each. In the parliamentary election, the NPP won 137 seats (down from 169 in 2016), and the NDC took 137 (up from 106). One seat was won by an independent candidate, who is doing business with the NPP, in effect giving them a majority.

Parliamentary election disputes

In their report, the EOM recommended the introduction of a time limit for the resolution of parliamentary election petitions, as this would allow challenges to be swiftly remedied and thereby improve public confidence in the electoral process. The EOM further noted that given Ghana’s recent history of peaceful observation of election results, and the strength of the country’s electoral institutions, they expect the challenges to proceed without major incident.

“The election result of a hung parliament (137 seats for NDP, 137 for NDC, and one independent) makes resorting to the High Court in case of close results or irregularities in a constituency even more important for the two main parties than usually” the report noted.

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected