The Acting Chair of the Coalition of Domestic Elections Observers (CODEO), Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu has asked all stakeholders to play their roles well in this year’s elections in order to ensure that the outcomes will be accepted by all parties.
He noted that the stakes in this year’s elections are high for the various actors, a situation that demands all to be critical in the roles they play to ensure a free fair and credible polls.
Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu said these in his opening remarks during the elections support project national training of trainers (tot) workshop for CODEO regional coordinators on Monday October 19.
“The December 7 general election will be Ghana’s eighth successive one in the Fourth Republic. Like previous elections, the stakes in this year’s elections are high for the various actors. In addition, we are in unprecedented times, having to hold an election during a global pandemic. Nevertheless, this election provides an opportunity to deepen and consolidate Ghana’s electoral and democratic processes,” he said.
He added “While the conventional concern is with credible and peaceful electoral outcomes, the raging COVID-19 pandemic presents health and safety concerns that should not be taken for granted in this election. It is of vital importance for the election to be considered as credible while voters remain safe and healthy.
“Having observed the recent voter registration exercise, CODEO noticed some challenges with the enforcement of and or compliance with the COVID-19 health and safety protocols, particularly in the initial phases of the exercise. CODEO, however, hopes that valuable lessons from the voter registration exercise will guide the conduct of the polls on Election-Day as we pursue total safety of voters in the midst of the pandemic.
“CODEO has been concerned about the incidents of election-related violence which has been recorded so far as the country prepares to go to the December polls. CODEO once again, urges the Inspector-General of Police and indeed, the Ghana Police Service to step-up investigations into such cases and to update the general public on the progress and outcomes of these investigations.
“This is very necessary for dealing with impunity for electoral violence. The credibility of the election outcomes is critical and CODEO understands that this desired outcome can only be made possible if all stakeholder institutions and actors play their mandated roles with unwavering diligence. Thus, all stakeholders, including the Electoral Commission, political parties, security agencies and civil society organizations have complementary and
collaborative roles to play in ensuring that the election is touted by all as free, fair, transparent, peaceful and safe.
“That said, CODEO, the largest citizen observer group in Ghana is poised to mobilize its 42-member organizations to contribute to the attainment of the earlier mentioned outcomes. I will subsequently highlight the interventions that CODEO seeks to undertake in this general election.”