The Commonwealth Observer Group (COG), whose members are drawn from various Commonwealth countries with backgrounds ranging from political, electoral, civil society and human rights as well as legal fields, has arrived in Ghana for the presidential and parliamentary election due to be held on Monday, 7 December 2020.
The group has already received briefings from the Electoral Commission (EC), political parties, police, and civil societies.
The Commonwealth Observer Group members include Chairperson – Dr Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, former President of the East African Court, Rwanda; Musa Mwenye, SC, former Attorney General, Zambia; and Baroness Denise Patricia Kingsmill, Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom.
The other members are Marcella Samba-Sesay, Chairperson National Election Watch (New), Sierra Leone and Hon Martha Karua, Former Minister of Justice, Kenya.
In a statement, Chair of the COG Dr Ugirashebuja said: “We recognise the significance of these elections to the people of Ghana and appreciate the challenges they come with as the world battles the Coronavirus pandemic. These elections are also the first the Commonwealth Secretariat has sent an observer group to since the pandemic began.”
“We are here to observe the electoral process and will act impartially and independently as we scrutinise its organisation and conduct. We will seek to assess the pre-election environment, polling day activities and the post-election period.
“We will then take a view as to whether it has been conducted to the international and regional standards to which Ghana has committed itself, including the country’s own laws”.
The Commonwealth Ghana Head of Mission for the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, Mr John Apea stated:
“Ghana has always been the beacon for democracy in Africa, and I expect this to continue and for the observers to act impartially. The COG will issue an Interim Statement of its preliminary findings on 9 December. A final report will be submitted to the Secretary-General and made available to the public afterwards”.