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Source: Daily Graphic Ghana - The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has lauded the Electoral Commission (EC) for implementing 27 accepted electoral reforms to enhance transparency in election results tabulation and transmission.
At the launch of interventions by the CODEO towards the 2016 general election, the joint co-chair of CODEO, Justice V.C.R.A.C Crabbe (retd) and Professor Miranda Greenstreet, announced the interventions as tracking and advocacy on the implementation of the accepted electoral reforms as announced by the EC, domestic election observation, implementation of a parallel vote tabulation system and the promotion of civic and voter education at the district levels.

Going forward, CODEO urged the EC to be encouraged by a recent survey by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), which indicated increasing confidence in the EC.

It urged the EC to also make transparency, inclusiveness, accountability and proactive communication its main guiding principles. 

Scale up performance 

“The EC should be guided by these favourable ratings to strive to scale up its performance come December 7, 2016,” it said.

CODEO said the survey also showed that some Ghanaians were skeptical about the credibility of the vote count process. It accordingly encouraged the EC to intensify public education on the national vote tabulation process, particularly the electronic transmission of results.

It also advocated a continuous engagement with the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC) in building consensus towards the Election Day, adding that it was also necessary for the EC to work closely with like-minded civil society partners to foster cooperation towards a credible and peaceful election outcome.

Security 

The coalition said the early preparation by the security agencies, led by the Ghana Police Service towards the election was commendable, adding that, the Police and the Army had been rated the most prepared of all the key election stakeholders and institutions for the December polls.

It urged the security forces to continue to step up their preparatory activities and ensure that the law applied equally to all offenders of electoral rules and perpetrators of violence, irrespective of political party affiliation.

Media and Election 2016 

With regard to the news media, CODEO noted that there had been some indiscretion on the part of media personnel, regarding the use of indecent language on media platforms by hosts and panellists and asked that it should be condemned by all.

It called on stakeholders in the media industry, especially the National Media Commission (NMC), the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), to as a matter of urgency, build consensus on a code of conduct to regulate media programming.

They should also promote fair and decent reporting before, during and after the 2016 polls, particularly in the wake of the Montie 3 affair, CODEO added.

“We expect that these institutions will play their expected roles towards a peaceful and credible election 2016 polls,”it stressed.

Political parties 

CODEO called on the political parties to fully participate in the activities of the EC, noting that they were important for ensuring the credibility of the electoral process and its outcomes.

The parties were also urged to properly train their agents to ensure that they used laid-down channels to resolve any grievances, to ensure that their actions did not undermine activities of the EC before and during the elections.

CODEO also called on the political parties to promote decent electioneering, fair playing field and focus on policy issues that would contribute to the development of the country.

Electorate 

It asked the electorate to comport themselves during the electioneering, engage parties and candidates on policy issues and come out to vote on Election Day. 

An advisory board member of CODEO, Sheikh Arimiyawo Shaibu, said the coalition for its part, would continue to promote an issue-based campaign, build public confidence in the electoral process and work to detect electoral fraud.
 


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