A team of Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Election Observer Mission on Thursday called on Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration ahead of the December 7 General Elections.
The delegation, led by Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia and the ECOWAS Chief Election Observer to Ghana, is expected to meet with selected stakeholders involved in the country’s electoral process to assess their preparedness for the December 7, polls.
Mrs Sirleaf is accompanied by Mr Marjon Kamara, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Liberia and former Liberian Ambassador to the United Nations and Mr Lewis Brown, former Minister for Information, Culture and Tourism of Liberia.
The delegation will be in Ghana from Thursday, December 3 to 12 to observe the Presidential and Parliamentary elections and present a comprehensive report on the exercise for future considerations.
Ms Botchwey expressed appreciation for their visit and recalled the recent visit of the joint ECOWAS and African Union Pre-election team, which were in Ghana to assess the country’s preparedness towards the December General Elections.
She acknowledged the importance of elections in assessing the quality of a country’s governance system, stressing that it was a reflection of the right of citizens to choose their leaders in a democratic dispensation.
She stated that Ghana was committed to promoting democracy, good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law, which have underpinned the country’s democratic governance since 1992.
The Minister assured the delegation of the government’s commitment to working closely with stakeholders towards the conduct of a violence-free, peaceful, fair and transparent elections.
She said measures have been put in place by the government, the Electoral Commission and the National Election Security Taskforce, headed by Mr James Oppong-Boanuh, the Inspector General of Police.
She said the task force was working towards the establishment of Joint Operation Centres, physical training and capacity building in the prosecution of electoral offences, with the overall goal of promoting violence-free and tension-free elections.
She was optimistic that the stakeholders would put the interest of the country above all other considerations with the view to maintaining Ghana’s enviable image as a beacon of democracy in the region.
“As a testament to the many efforts stakeholders have put in place to ensure the conduct of peaceful elections, the 2020 Special Voting exercise, organized ahead of the General Elections, took place on Tuesday, December 1, in a peaceful manner,” she said.
She underscored the importance of unifying the people of Ghana before, during and after the elections to promote an effective and structured framework for nation-building, and to bring about lasting peace and sustainable development.
Ms Botchwey expressed the hope that the delegation would perform their duty and attest to the credibility of the elections at the end of the electoral process and requested the Mission to share their observations with the government.
She commended the outstanding work done so far by ECOWAS towards the conduct of peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections in the region and for the ongoing efforts at calming political unrests in Mali, Guinea and Cote d’ Ivoire.
Mrs Sirleaf was pleased to be in Ghana to observe the elections, adding “it is our honour to be a service to Ghana and Africa.”
She said their work would be facilitated by an experienced team and come out with an objective report on the exercise.