Press Release: ECOWAS Mission Optimistic at Successful Polls in Ghana

By IndepthAfrica
In Ghana
Dec 5th, 2012

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 region.

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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