EU EOM presents 2020 general elections report to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration … recommends improvement in subsequent elections


Recommendation in the final report of the 2020 European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Ghana would be taken on board to improve subsequent elections, the government has said.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said this was in line with the government’s commitment to promote democracy and the rule of law in the country.

She gave the assurance when a member of the European Parliament and Chief Observer of the Mission,  Javier Nart, paid a courtesy call on her in Accra on Monday as part of his three-day visit to Ghana.

The EU deployed EOM which comprised 80 observers from EU member states as well as Norway, Switzerland and Canada, to Ghana between October 31 and December 30, 2020.

It mandate was to assess the country’s electoral process against international obligations and commitments for democratic elections as well as the laws of Ghana.

Its final report released earlier this week, contained 18 recommendations eight of which were considered to be priorities, including the improvement of procedures for counting and collation, and for the publication of detailed results.

Ms Botchwey commended MrNart and his team for a successful election observation mission undertaken in different locations of the country during the presidential elections last year.

She praised the unwavering support extended by the EU to Ghana’s electoral development, demonstrated by the 2020 Mission which was the third Mission to Ghana, since the first time in the 2008 elections and the second Mission in 2016.

Ms Botchwey expressed satisfaction with the relations between Ghana and EU and commend the EU for its consistent support over the years including the financial assistance of 87 million euros in budget support to Ghana as part of the COVID-19 response.

She noted that the more than 17 million qualified adults who registered to take part in the December 2020 elections per the pre-election Voters’ Register, compared to the 15.7 million registered voters during the 2016 Elections demonstrated a greater involvement of Ghanaians in the election of leaders.

Although the minister was elated that for the first time, female participation had manifested at leadership level with one female running mate and three female presidential candidates, she expressed regret that women were still underrepresented because only 46 out of the 275 Members of Parliament, were women.

Mr Nart, who presented a copy of the final report to the minister, said, although the election was not 100 per cent perfect, it was generally good and expressed the hope that the recommendations would be implemented to make future elections better.

He said the EU attached importance to the observation of Ghana’s election because she was the pillar of democracy in the region where democracy was sometimes fraught with challenges, and urged her to sustain her gains.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR


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