Press Release: ECOWAS Mission Optimistic at Successful Polls in Ghana
The head of ECOWAS’ 250-member Observation Mission for Ghana’s 7th December
2012 general elections, Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo
has expressed optimism at the success of the polls based on satisfactory
preparations and the country’s proven tradition and reputation in democratic
“We are here as witnesses to what promises to be peaceful, transparent,
credible, free and fair elections,” Chief Obasanjo said on arrival in Accra on
Monday 3rd December, adding that given Ghana’s reputable history, the 7th
December presidential and legislative polls would not be an exception.
He commended Ghanaians in general and all the stakeholders, including the
national electoral commission, and especially the political parties and their
leaders for signing up to a peaceful and violence-free electoral process,
towards strengthening and deepening the democratic culture in the country and
The ECOWAS Observation team, led by Chief Obasanjo and comprising
representatives of various segments of the West African society, is in Ghana
within the context of the region’s instrument for provision of support to
Member States holding elections.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, will also be
in the country to provide additional support to the Mission and to express
ECOWAS’ solidarity with the Government and people of Ghana during the
The ECOWAS Director of Political Affairs, Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musah, who was part
of the team that received Chief Obasanjo, explained that Accra would serve as
the headquarters and Situation Room for the ECOWAS Mission, with three sub-
stations in Kumasi, Tamale and Bolgatanga, from where the regional observers
will be deployed to all the 10 administrative regions of Ghana to monitor the
conduct of the polls.
Prior to their deployment, the ECOWAS observers will meet with political party
leaders and other stakeholders in the country, with a view to ensuring a
peaceful environment for the conduct of the polls.
An ECOWAS assessment mission was in Ghana last October to review preparations
for the elections during which the mission interacted with various
stakeholders, including representatives of political parties, security
agencies, civil society organizations, the national electoral commission, and
other stakeholders to discuss their perspectives on the preparations for the
Friday’s polls will be the sixth uninterrupted general elections in Ghana with
three peaceful alternations of power in the country since 1992.
This time round, over 13 million Ghanaian biometric registered voters will
elect a president out of eight presidential candidates and from the 275
candidates seeking to be elected into the country’s 230-member parliament.
The preparations and campaigns leading up to the elections have been largely
thorough, transparent and peaceful, coming on the heels of the successful
elections in Sierra Leone, which were also observed by ECOWAS. The Region
seeks through the Election Observation Missions to promote a culture of
transparent and credible elections, consistent with best practices for the
enhancement of good governance, regional peace and stability.
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