We will be impartial and independent – Commonwealth Observers

Former South Africa President
Former South Africa President

The Commonwealth Observer group in the country to observe the December 7, elections, says it will do so impartially and independently.

Speaking at a press conference this morning in Accra, Thabo Mbeki, former South African president and head of the 17-member delegation told journalists that the group was constituted following an invitation from the Electoral Commission of Ghana.

“We are here to observe the electoral process and will act impartially and independently as we scrutinize its organisation and conduct. We will seek to assess the pre-election environment, polling day activites and the post election period against the backdrop of Ghana’s national legislation, regional and international commitments,” he said.

Mr. Mbeki indicated that the group will, after the elections, take a view whether the election has been conducted to the international and regional standards to which Ghana has committed itself, including its own laws.

He noted that the Commonwealth Observers will be deployed through out the 10 regions of Ghana to observe opening, voting, closing, counting and the results management process.

On December 9, 2016, the Group will issue an interim statement on its preliminary findings, he said, adding that a final report will be prepared later and submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary-General. The final report would subsequently be shared with relevant stakeholders and the general public.

According to Mr. Mbeki,the Group is made up of eminent persons drawn from across different regions of the Commonwealth, including Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific, including the former Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission of the United Kingdom, Peter Wardle.

The Group will leave the country on December 13. An advance team has been on the ground since November 16.

On December 7, Ghana will hold an election that some supporters of the incumbent, John Mahama have described as a ‘critical election’.

There are seven presidential candidates and 275 parliamentary seats at stake.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
Copyright © 2016 by Creative Imaginations Publicity
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