EC on course with electoral reforms – Commissioner
The Electoral Commission (EC) is to launch a Five Year Strategic Plan, which aims at ensuring that at the end of five years the institution becomes stronger, better resourced and more independent.
Mrs Charlotte Osei, the EC Chairman, said that the Commission had started the process of implementing several electoral reforms, some of which were as a result of the recommendations of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the 2012 election petition.
She explained that other reforms were issues that had been agreed upon by a wide range of stakeholders such as political parties and civil society organisations.
Mrs Osei stated in Accra during the announcement of a £4million project fund for deepening Ghana’s democratic process by the British High Commission in Accra.
The project, tagged “Deepening Democratic Governance Programme,” is to strengthen Ghana’s democratic governance and promote free, fair, peaceful and credible elections in November.
The project seeks to target the Electoral Commission, the Ghana Police Service, the Judiciary and civil society organisations to be supported to undergo training to upscale their skills in handling security and judicial democratic governance matters.
Mrs Osei said the EC reforms were towards strengthening the electoral process and ensuring that the institutions were stronger and independent and that the rules were acceptable to all the key players across the political divide.
“These are steps that we are taking to ensure that towards the 2016 elections and even beyond, the electoral landscape is stronger and that the successes that we have built over the past 23 years, we improve upon it,” she added.
Mrs Osei expressed gratitude to the United Kingdom Government for the assistance towards strengthening Ghana’s democratic institutions.
She said it was impossible for the EC to organise transparent and credible elections without the support of all the other stake holders such as the police and civil society.
“From the perspective of the EC we are totally committed to ensuring that the elections this year are credible, transparent and peaceful.
“In addition, within the EC, we have being doing a lot of works internally, on strengthening our own structures, improving our processes and improving upon the platform on which we engage the public,” the Chairman said.
Mr Desmond Swayne, the United Kingdom Minister of State for International Development, lauded Ghana for establishing a fierce democratic reputation in Africa and serving as a beacon of democracy.
“Whatever government that Ghanaians choose for themselves in November, it is important in my view that you continue to be that beacon of democracy in the region that other countries would seek to emulate,” he said.