The European Union (EU) Election Observer Mission would on Monday, February 27, launch its final report on the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections which was won by the New Patriotic Party.
Dr Tamas Meszerics, the Head of the EU Election Observer Mission announced in Tamale on Saturday during a meeting with some civil society organizations, Northern Regional heads of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the Electoral Commission, the GJA and the Northern Regional Coordinating Council ahead of the official launch of the report in Accra.
Dr Meszerics commended Ghana for peacefully conducting elections and urged the country to find ways of appointing future Electoral Commissioners instead of the Constitutional mandate, where the President exercises the prerogative.
That he said would eliminate suspicion and perception of the Commissioner’s political allegiance.
The 40 page report described the overall conduct of the 2016 elections as transparent, incident-free and free and fair and expressed hope that there was more room for improvement in future elections.
The report discussed among other things, the political background of the country, election administration, voter registration, election campaign, media and elections, participation of women, election disputes, results and post-election environment and recommendations.
The report described the media landscape in Ghana as very vibrant and that though some media outlets affiliated to some political parties and personalities, it did not affect the conduct of the elections in anyway.
“Ghana enjoys a vibrant and pluralistic media landscape, though some concerns arise from media ownership by politicians, varying standards of journalism and reports of financial influence exerted on some media professionals…..”, the report said.
The report also recommended among others the passing of the Right to Information Bill to give substance to Article 21 of the Constitution and transparency to many aspects of the elections, establishment of an inclusive Parliamentary mechanism for cross party involvement in the selection of EC members.
It said the EC members should be given a reasonable tenure of office to increase stakeholder confidence to enhance the independence of the body.
Other recommendations included; possible reduction in nomination deposits particularly for Parliamentary candidates and possible special dispensation for female candidates to promote women’s participation in governance.