IDEG to deploy more than 1000 observers for polls

IDEGThe Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) and Civic Initiative Forum (CFI) would engage 1,100 electoral agents to observe and monitor the December Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

They would also establish 10 Civil Society Elections Situation Rooms (CESR) in all the regions with a national coordinating centre in Accra to disseminate credible information on the polls to the public.

Dr Kwesi Jonah a Senior Research Fellow of IDEG, announced this at an IDEG “Civil Society Elections Situation Room Training Workshop” for Regional Situation room Working Groups in Takoradi.

The Workshop, organised by IDEG with support from Mondelez, was to train and equip the participants with the knowledge and other necessary tools required for the effective operations in the elections.

He said the CESRs, which were being operated in conjunction with the Police and the Electoral Commission, would focus on data regarding the voting processes, voter turnouts, results from polling stations and collation centres.

It would also cover other incidents and events that may crop up at the various polling centres.

“It is an operational room equipped with cameras, phones, television sets and other gadgets to monitor and gather information as events roll out before, during and after the December general elections,” he explained.

Dr Jonah, who took the participants through the “Political and Security content of the Elections, said though Ghana was doing well in its democratic dispensation, there were still indications that the elections could be violent if the necessary measures were not put in place to curb it.

He said the current hate speech and intemperate language used on radio and television stations as well as political party rallies could spark violence, stressing that: “What is happening on our air waves is not talking about us going to vote but as if we are preparing for a war and this should be a source of concern for all.”

Dr Jonah also mentioned the emergence of political vigilante groups, increase in the number of flash points, importation of small arms, poor social and economic conditions, the lack of political dialogue among political parties, and the issue of the winner–takes-all, as indicators that could all start violent acts.

He, in this regard, called for continuous prayers for the nation and asked all to “shine their eyes” and look out for these disturbing indicators.

Mr. Steve Opoku-Mensah, the Western Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, who took the participants through “Electoral Process Leading to the Election Day”, said the Electoral Laws allowed both manual and electronic verification.

He, therefore, urged all eligible voters to exercise their franchise provided their names were on the register.

He called all stakeholders to effectively play their roles to ensure free fair and successful polls.

Source: GNA

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