EC heightens preparations ahead of Dec 7 polls – CODEO report

0
81

A report issued by the Coalition of Domestic Elections Observers (CODEO) has noted that the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana has intensified preparatory activities towards the December 7, 2020 elections.

CODEO said activities observed to have been undertaken by the EC include the exhibition of the voter register at district offices of the EC (for participants in the extended voter registration exercise), recruitment/training of election staff, nomination of candidates, and transfer of votes/receipt of applications for proxy voting.

The report added that similar to CODEO’s observations in the month of September, civic and voter education activities were generally low across the various constituencies.

There continues to be generally low visibility of election support activities by CSOs, particularly those aimed at peace promotion.

COVID-19 health and safety protocols were not adhered to during some political party activities.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) remain the most visible political parties in the constituencies observed as far as political and campaign related activities are concerned.

“Observer reports showed intensified preparatory activities by the EC towards the December 7, 2020 elections. Activities observed to have been undertaken by the EC include the exhibition of the voter register at district offices of the EC (for participants in the extended voter registration exercise1, recruitment/training of election staff, nomination of candidates, and transfer of votes/receipt of applications for proxy voting.

“During the votes transfer exercise, which was carried out by the Commission from October 20-23, 2020, observer reports showed a generally peaceful exercise across the constituencies observed.

“However, there were a few cases of disturbances at some centers during the exercise. For instance, there was tension between party agents at the Builsa South constituency in the Upper East region over claims that some students who applied to transfer their votes to the constituency did not qualify to do so.

“Civic/Voter Education Platforms/Modes, Actors and Targeted Audience. Observer reports showed a marginal increase in civic and voter education activities in the observed constituencies, compared to what was observed in the month of September 2020. The NCCE and the EC remain the leading institutions undertaking civic and voter education activities in the constituencies observed, followed by political parties and religious bodies. Very few civic/voter education and other election-related activities (such as peace promotion) by CSOs were noted in the constituencies observed.

“Campaigning Activities by Political Parties: The NDC and the NPP intensified their campaign activities, such as rallies and party marches, over the period. At campaign activities observed, the main policy issues that were raised or discussed particularly by the NPP and the NDC were education, unemployment and the economy. There was little visibility of campaigning activities by the other political parties.

“While observer reports indicated a generally-peaceful electoral environment during the period under review, there were a few reported incidents of the use of abusive or inflammatory language, destruction or removal of party/candidate paraphernalia, and election-related violence. For instance, there was a violent clash between supporters of the NDC and the NPP at the district office of the EC in the Pru West Constituency of the Bono East region during the voter transfer exercise by the EC.

“This clash allegedly resulted in five people being seriously injured. In another incident on October 5, 2020 at Adjaraja Beposo in the same Constituency (Pru West), some supporters of the NPP allegedly prevented the NDC from having a campaign activity in the town. This resulted in a clash between the supporters of the two parties, leaving some wounded.

“On Sunday October 25, 2020, it was alleged that, a courtesy call on some chiefs and elders in the Banda constituency by the Banda NPP parliamentary candidate was hindered by some youth in Banda Ahenkro in the Bono region. In reaction to the incident, some youth believed to be affiliated with the NPP allegedly vowed not to allow the NDC to campaign in areas believed to be the stronghold of NPP in the Banda Constituency.

“At the Odododiodio Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, scores of persons were reported to have suffered varying degrees of injuries after a clash between supporters of the NDC and the NPP.”

Source: 3 News